ZimTrade, in conjunction with Agricultural Promotion Agency, Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP) hosted a five-day Seminar and practical training from 25 May to 1 June to accelerate the business of farming in Zimbabwe.
Lead Trainer, Maina Karuiru, has 21 years of experience as a technical and business expert in Kenya’s Agricultural sector, which has undergone enormous growth in recen years. Participants at the seminar were from key organisations including the ministries of Industry, Agriculture and Women Affairs, farmers’ associations as well as
private agri-businesses. Following the training, participants will consult with their stakeholders in agriculture to share lessons learnt.
“Zimbabwe can learn a lot from the story of Kenya’s agriculture and horticultural growth. Kenya’s Agri sector is producing $5 billion dollars a year, with horticulture contributing $1.2 billion towards this. This week we are unpacking the Kenyan story to see which aspects can be adopted in Zimbabwe, especially with regards to motivating and supporting small scale producers as they look to become exporters,” said Acting Export Development Manager, Richard Saizi.
Visiting expert, Maina Karuiru led the fiveday discussions which included visits to farms and pack houses. “God has given Zimbabwe everything it needs to be hugely successful in its Agricultural sector. Kenya has achieved $5 billion dollars on one quarter of the arable land that is available in Zimbabwe, and you also have better soils and rainfall. I am very excited by the opportunity presented by well-organised small scale farmers in Zimbabwe. In Kenya, people
are running productive projects on one or two hectares of land, but it’s how you organize them that is key,” said Karuiru.
Simba Muchena from Zimbabwe Farmers Union, which has 250,000 members, said that by following the stories of other African countries, Zimbabwe can avoid many of the pitfalls that they endured.
“We have gained a lot of insight into what to do and what not to do. Following our engagements with Mr. Karuiru we are much better informed on key issues to get our smallholder farmers exporting to the lucrative foreign markets. In particular we have a roadmap on how to manage the use of pesticides on crops – which is a vital concern, especially when exporting to the EU. We have also been jolted into taking more concrete action to breed a culture of certification amongst our members, with Global Gap being something that all farmers should have,” said Muchena
Publish Date: Monday 04 June 2018