By Tamuka Charakupa
AT least forty-five smallholder pineapple farmers in Rusitu Valley in Chipinge are set to benefit from an organic certification of their pineapples that will see them tap into foreign export markets.
The farmers, the majority of whom are survivors of the Cyclone Idai disaster of 2019, are set to benefit from a ZimTrade-driven pineapple organic certification through Ecocert Organic Standard that will see them receiving the greenlight to export their produce.
The recent development was met with high expectations from farmers who for long have been facing marketing challenges for their produce.
The local leadership said the initiative will see improved livelihoods for the local community through exports of pineapples.
“This is a development which has the potential to unlock vast opportunities for our people.”
ZimTrade Chief Executive Officer, Allan Majaru said plans are underway to incorporate other farmers in the horticulture business throughout the country.
“This is an initiative which will see farmers earn triple-fold for their produce. The first 45 farmers are our pilot but we have plan to increase the numbers as well as push for certification for other products,” he said.
The organic certification will unlock access to the global pineapple market which is currently valued at over 2.6 billion United States dollars, according to TradeMap.