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Zimbabwe - Support for strengthening the capacity and competitiveness of small-scale horticulture farmers for the production of niche export products under the EPA in Zimbabwe

Posted on: December 10, 2019


The ACP - EU Tradecom II Programme jointly with ZimTrade is currently implementing a project entitled ‘ Targeted support for strengthening the capacity and competitiveness of small - scale horticulture farmers for production of niche exports products under the Economic partnership Agreements between Zimbabwe and the European Union. The objective of the project is to enhance export competitiveness of Zimbabwe’s niche horticultural products into regional and EU markets.

As part of this project, a Capacity building and peer review workshop on ‘stakeholder led ‘good practice’ for seven horticultural value chains for export markets’ was held at Mutare Catholic University Training Centre, from 16-20 September 2019. The specific aim of the training/peer-review workshop was to build capacity of horticulture value chain operators on market access and value chain compliance requirements, ownership and transparency of the value chain compliance and ultimately elaborate a stakeholder-led and “good practice” value chain compliance system for sectors as floriculture, sweet potatoes, paprika, bananas, pineapples, avocados and macadamia. The three-day training workshop was followed by a two-day Peer Review of the Baseline Study on the seven value chains undertaken earlier.

In attendance were farmers and managers of the 7 value chains and officials from Zimtrade, Plant Quarantine Services (PQS) Department, and the Agricultural Marketing Authority (AMA) (Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement), Government Analytical Laboratory Services (GALS) and the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ). The training workshop was facilitated and the team of technical experts contracted by the ACP-EU TradeCom Programme and comprising of Dr Moses Tekere (Senior Research Fellow-Agricultural Trade Expert and Team Leader), Dr Richard Kamidza (Trade Policy Specialist) and Mr David Parsons (Product Quality- SPS/TBT Expert) and William Zirebwa (Non-Key Expert).

The training peer review covered a number thematic areas, such as Performance and Export opportunities of Zimbabwe’s horticulture sector under the iEPA, Sanitary Measures, specific compliance and competitiveness challenges in each of the 7 value chains, recommendations and quality management improvements in selected horticulture export products for regional EU and International markets and designing a stakeholder led electronic value chain compliance system.

The priority recommendations from group discussion for each Value Chain included investment in human resources, improving Finance Management and investments in irrigation systems and infrastructural development, creating awareness and working towards compliance on internationally recognised standards, being part of the ongoing farming organisation and supporting related trainings, networks and relationships with the key target markets.

Programme funded by European Union at the request of ACP Group - Implemented by AESA CONSORTIUM