Many Zimbabwean farmers are losing a lot of potential revenue to middlemen and bogus buyers who cheat them of their produce because they have not mastered the art of growing to a guaranteed local or export market.
Talking to the AgriSeason at the just ended European Union funded SADC Trade Related Facility, TRF, Global GAP Certification workshop in Gweru, Midlands, Consultant – Food Safety Management Systems Mrs. Yvonne Dzuda, said that, “Farmers that are not certified are not able to access good markets which are more reliable and pay better.”
She added that, “Also, when a farmer is growing for an “unspecified market”, they can use a spray programme that contains some Plant Protection Products that the market they will eventually supply has not approved of. This leads to product rejections. Also, another challenge is the very high costs of getting samples sent for MRL tests, because this is being done by approved labs in South Africa or overseas.”
The European Union funded SADC Trade Related Facility, TRF, Global GAP Certification programme, “has so far trained over 110 people, of which over 50% are farmers and another 40% being extension officers that will go on to further train farmers in their regions, said Mrs. Dzuda.
The consultant said that, “for meeting the requirements of the export market, farmers can use any of the GFSI standards. Its always best to enquire from the market which standards they prefer and also if they would like the producer to also have other add-on options to their Global GAP audit. Other common standards are : BRC (British Retail Consortium) Food Safety Standard; FSSC 22000; and also SMETA audits.”
Mrs. Dzuda said that, “After training selected farmers will receive support in testing their horticultural produce for pesticide residues (MRLs) and support on the implementation of the Global GAP standard all the way to certification. The program will cover audit registration costs and audit costs.”
For more information please contact:
Mrs Yvonne Dzuda
Consultant – Food Safety Management Systems
+263 773 435 370 or +263 712 620 753