High in the scenic mountains of Chimanimani, small scale pineapple farmers from are on track to obtain organic certification for their fruit. This will give them high-value access to the lucrative organic fresh produce markets in
the European Union. ZimTrade, in conjunction with PUM, facilitated the visit of organic agriculture expert Coen ter Berg to the fields in January 2018 as part of the process of improving the farmers’ organic expertise.
“Organically produced fruit is the way forward as health-conscious consumers are now preferring these products,”
he said, adding that the certification will earn the farmers up to 30% more for their pineapples, as organic produce is sold at a premium around the world, especially in Northern Europe.
The Chimanimani farmers have seldom used chemicals on their fields, which will make the transition to organic certification much easier.In addition to coaching farmers in how to use natural composts, Mr. ter Berg shared his insight into organic pest management and intercropping. In collaboration with ZimTrade he also sent soil samples to Standards Association of Zimbabwe to test for pH and nutrient levels with a view to matching soil quality to growing better pineapples.
Publish Date: Saturday 03 March 2018