Gweru based businessman and farmer Mr. Staben Karimazondo says that there are endless opportunities for Zimbabwean farmers to harvest if they are able to work together as groups and benefit economies of scale to supply the huge European Union, EU, market.
Mr. Karimazondo exports a wide variety of cut flowers and horticulture crops to Europe.
Zimbabwe has a favourable climate, cleaner soils, water and air to produce a number of fresh produce and cut flowers for the EU market that is healt and environmentally conscious and pays a premium for GMO-free and safe produce from Zimbabwe, said Mr. Karimazondo.
The trick is in the ability of Zimbabwean farmers to learn the requirements of the market and be able to produce the required volumes to the set standards, he said.
Mr. Karimazondo has 25ha under high grade horticulture fresh produce that he is supplying UK based Tesco and said that he is in the process of concluding another deal with a Germany based market to supply them with fresh vegetables.
Zimbabwe has for a number of years not been producing enough food for own requirements and let alone for the export market.
The EU in partnership with the SADC Trade Related Facility, TRF, and the Department of Research and Specialist Services, DR&SS, rolled out a training programme for local farmers to export to the EU under the Global Good Agriculture Practices, GAP, certification and standards said the project coordinator Mr. Taurayi Matyora.
The programme has trained farmers in the Midlands and Mashonaland Central on how best to grow for the EU Export market.
By Francis Bingandadi Managing Editor AgriSeason.