Ndiyadzo pineapple growers work on organic certification

In the month of June, ZimTrade reengaged small scale farmers in the Rusitu Valley near Chimanimani as they pursue organic certification for their pineapples.

The June mission followed a visit in February 2018, when ZimTrade facilitated a consultation between the farmers and PUM organic produce expert Coen ter Berg (Netherlands). Ter Berg, who has forty years organic farming experience was impressed with the potential in Ndiyadzo and advised on best practice methods to achieve organic certification. This certification is a critical milestone in reaching the lucrative organic fruit market, especially in the Netherlands.

The recent engagement focused on promoting a culture of production and management standards on the farms, and was led by ZimTrade’s quality management expert, Danisa Chinamasa.

“ZimTrade is excited to work with the Rusitu Fruit Growers and Marketing Association on the Organic Pineapple Certification Project. It is an initiative that will assist farmers achieve a consistent standard, and consistency is critical in developing relations with international buyers,” said Chinamasa.

The ZimTrade team observed that the pineapple crop that was grown under organic agriculture methods showed strong vegetative growth and was in good health. The farmers were also implementing good agronomic practices to maintain their fruit.

According to Moses Muyambo, the Organic Pineapple Project Coordinator, “the farmers still have a lot of work to do in terms of processes and documentation to become organic compliant, however they are getting to grips with the organic system and our experience here will activate others to do the same,” he said.

In addition to organic certification, other key certificates for horticulture producers include Fair Trade and Global GAP. Though the requirements of these can be complex, they play a key role in helping farmers overcome EU export market barriers, and can improve returns.

Publish Date: Monday 02 July 2018



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