Business Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S trade development and promotion agency, ZimTrade, has been nominated for the World Trade Promotion Organisation (WTPO) awards in recognition of its outstanding efforts in developing and facilitating the country’s exports. 

This is the first time ZimTrade and the country have been nominated for such an award. In a statement, the trade development and promotion organisation said it has been nominated under the “Best Use of Partnership” category. 

“ZimTrade, the national trade development and promotion organisation, has been nominated for the WTPO awards, in recognition of its contribution to the development and facilitation of Zimbabwe’s exports,” it said. 

The awards are slated for October this year. The WTPO awards recognise outstanding Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs), across the world, focusing on positive outcomes in the advancement of exports. 

“ZimTrade has been nominated under the “Best Use of Partnership” category that recognises the successful use of integrated partnerships and networks to advance export development and impact.” 

Other nominees in the same category are ProColombia (Colombia), Engineering Export Council of Egypt (Egypt), Business Sweden (Sweden), Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO, The Netherlands), Tanzania Trade Development Authority (TANTRADE, Tanzania), Vietrade (Vietnam).

One of the partnerships that motivated for ZimTrade’s nomination underlies the “Best Model Farm” project, currently being implemented in partnership with the Netherlands-based PUM and Netherlands Embassy in Zimbabwe. 

In April 2016, ZimTrade partnered with PUM Senior experts of the Netherlands in an agreement to facilitate the access to expertise for local companies in Zimbabwe. 

“The agreement covered a wide range of sectors, but horticulture was prioritised due to its potential for export growth. 

“ZimTrade launched Best Model Farm project in 2019 after signing an MOU with PUM, a Netherlands based organization of senior expert consultants,” it said. 

After assessment visits were carried out to potential out-growers, three model farms were selected in Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Midlands in support of devolution, which are the core of this pilot project. 

Under the Best Model Farm project, ZimTrade and its partners are working with selected exporting farms to on board smallholder farmers in production of high value crops.

“This will ultimately increase volume of the country’s exports and reduce cost of freight.

“The project seeks to boost horticultural exports by small holder farmers through various capacity development initiatives, including technical intervention trainings by local and international experts.”

The objective is to further develop production, quality and diversify of export products through the development of a robust outgrower scheme.

Further to this ZimTrade has also conducted some work with a PUM expert and explored the production of berries, particularly blueberries, to diversify export products for the farms. 

The project is expected to expand to the rest of the country soon. 

Since 2004, the WTPO awards have been recognisjng outstanding TPO practices, promoting success, innovation, and the sharing of excellence.