The Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS) with the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) under the Cashew Infrastructure Development Project (CIDP) has rolled out a 14 days capacity building training for 200 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Western province. The trainings which are targeted at cashew farmers, cashew processors and agriculture camp officers will focus on enhancing the quality of cashew produced in readiness for local, regional and international markets.

A total of 200 SMEs in ten districts will receive training in Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and recommended code of practice on the reduction of aflatoxins in cashew nuts. The Districts that have been targeted include Lukulu, Limulunga, Kalabo, Sikongo, Mitete, Shangombo, Mongu, Nalolo, Senanga and Sioma.

These trainings will equip the SMEs on how to grow and produce good quality cashew nuts that are safe for consumption while taking into consideration economic, social and environmental sustainability expectations and requirements. It is important for us as a national standards body to impart this knowledge and skills to our local producers and processors as implementation of Good Agricultural Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices will result in quality and safe agricultural products which will contribute to national food security as well as market access. Further, ZABS will undertake the training programmes with support from the Western Provincial Agricultural Coordinator (PACO) and District Agricultural Coordinators (DACOs) and it is envisaged that this collaboration in standardization and quality assurance related requirements will contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of the cashew nuts both locally and for export.

AS ZABS we continue to urge local businesses to take advantage of our training programs and begin to embrace the implementation of standards as guidelines and tools to streamline their operations, maintain sustainability and facilitate access to markets.