ZIMBABWE’S trade promotion body, Zimtrade, in conjunction with a Netherlands company has engaged in a pilot project to assist Chimanimani farmers grow organic pineapples for export markets.
Speaking to Post Business on the sidelines of the Mutasa North constituency road map strategy stakeholders meeting held in Honde Valley recently, ZimTrade chief executive Mr Allan Majuru said there was a ready market for organic pineapples in Netherlands and Chimanimani was naturally poised to produce quality produce that would sell well.
He said the Dutch Government was funding the certification of farmers who were producing the fruit.
“We are working side by side with the Dutch Government to assist Chimanimani East farmers through certifying them to export their organic pineapples,” said Mr Majuru.
Farmers in Chimanimani East, he said, were already growing good quality pineapple that had to remain organic for them to be acceptable in Netherlands.
“The good thing is that, the variety of pineapples grown in Chimanimani is the variety that is required by the market but for us to get more value from exporting the pineapple it has to be exported as organic,” said the ZimTrade chief executive.
The pilot project started last year and the certification agent was expected in the country between December and January to certify the farmers. ZimTrade was currently working with 50 farmers from Chimanimani east.
“The initiative is a good thing in developing the province since it is market driven and it also brings foreign currency in the country. We are working with almost 50 farmers and they are responding quite well because the selection process will be looking at farmers with potential since it is a pilot project. If it goes on well, we have plans to cascade the initiative to other areas in the country,” he said