THE Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP) will, at the end of this month, launch the Zimbabwe edition of the Fit for Market programme which seeks to improve horticulture producers’ access to domestic and international markets.
The programme, managed by COLEACP, is part of the intra-ACP indicative programme (2014-2020) for co-operation between the European Union (EU) and the ACP countries.
The budget for the five-year programme is €25 million (about $27 million), including €20 million (about $22 million) from the European Development Fund (EDF).
COLEACP Regional Co-ordinator of Operations, Ms Yessie Meyer, said on the sidelines of the Fruit Logistica Expo recently held in Berlin, Germany, that the Zimbabwe edition of the Fit for Market programme will be launched in Harare on May 30, 2017. “The programme aims at assisting the growth of enterprises, by improving their access to domestic and international markets, while at the same time strengthening the horticultural value chain through capacity building,” said Ms Meyer.
The programme will assist producers and exporters to implement good agricultural practices such as global gap and other private standards, sustainable environmental management practices as well as facilitate access to finance, among other things.
The Fit for Market programme also seeks to strengthen the horticultural value chain through capacity building. “Our model is to impart technical expertise to locals so that they can be empowered to continue with the programme in a sustainable framework,” added Ms Meyer.
On the international level COLEACP launched the programme in December last year to assist the horticultural sector in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions.