Clinton Moyo, Business Reporter
SMALL-SCALE pineapple farmers in Chimanimani have set sights on obtaining an organic certification for their fruit, a move that will give them high-value access to the lucrative organic fresh produce markets in the European Union.
ZimTrade, in conjunction with PUM, an organisation that works in promotion of exports, facilitated the visit of organic agriculture expert Mr Coen ter Berg to the fields in January as part of the process of improving the farmers’ organic expertise.
Mr ter Beg said the organically produced fruit was the way forward as health-conscious consumers were now turning to such products.
He added that certification will earn the farmers up to 30 percent more for their pineapples, as organic produce is sold at a premium around the world, especially in Northern Europe.
Statistics from the Trade Map show that pineapples have been a missed opportunity for some time in Zimbabwe, with global demand reaching US$2,5 billion in 2016.
Of this figure, the EU was by far the biggest consumer importing US$1,1 billion in 2016, while within the EU, the Netherlands imported US$171 million.
As part of testing the conditions under which the pineapples are grown, ZimTrade and the expert facilitated for testing of the farmers’ soils by sending it for pH test and nutrients level.-@clintonmoyo2