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Gweru farmer breaks into lucrative European peas market

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Gweru farmer breaks into lucrative European peas market

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SYDNEY MUBAIWA
MIDLANDS BUREAU CHIEF

GWERU -Matilda Manhambo, running a 56-hectare farm 26km from Gweru in the Dosert area, has secured a lucrative market for her peas produce in the Netherlands, France, and Germany.
Manhambo (64) who holds a Diploma in accounting from the University of Zimbabwe, told The Mirror on the sidelines of a field day held at her Kupfuma Ishungu Farm in Climatic region 3 that she struck the deal in March 2021. The field day whose objective was to tour the fields and showcase Manhambo’s horticultural products was held last Tuesday.
Her contract allows her to export more than 50 tonnes of peas per year. She has since 2021 exported 18 tonnes to the Netherlands. Manhambo, who says she is the only farmer growing peas in Gweru, said she struck the deal after successfully registering with ZimTrade.
Manhambo said there is a potential for horticulture to turn around the country’s fortunes if well organised. The sector challenged stakeholders to revive the Peas Growers Association and capacitate more farmers to grow the crop for export markets.
She said more farmers means reduced transport costs for the produce from different regions to the airport in Harare. She has since approached ZimTrade and formed a farmers’ cluster, which she chairs.
She said she decided to venture into the European market after failing to get a lucrative market in the country. She then approached ZimTrade and successfully went through the trade centres’ requirements, which included global gap certificates. She obtained global gap certificates and several export certificates. The certificates are for export quality standardization.
She bemoaned several challenges, including erratic power supplies that affect the sector and high-interest rates charged by Banks and called on Government to address them.
“The erratic supply of electricity has become a major challenge, and we call on the Government to address the issue if we are to avoid huge losses, said Manhambara.
Apart from peas, Manhambara, who got her farm in 2006, also does livestock, potatoes, tomatoes, butternuts, peas, carrots and onions.
Manhambara once worked in Government as a Clerk in the Department of Research and Specialists under the Ministry of Agriculture before retiring.

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