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More lime producers in Colombia ready to export thanks to new certification

18 août 2020
ITC News

(Geneva) − Fourteen Tahiti lime producers in Nariño, Colombia, have achieved the ‘Registro Predio Exportador’ certificate (RPE, in Spanish), granted by the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA), to open the door to international markets for nearly 150 tons of limes every year.

The farmers are taking part in ‘Colombia PUEDE: Peace and unity through productive development and commercialization,’ a project implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and financed by the European Union through the European Trust Fund for Colombia.

The newly certified farms are located in the municipalities of El Rosario and Leiva, which are included in the Colombian Government’s list of Areas Most Affected by the Armed Conflict (ZOMAC, in Spanish) and the Territorial Development Plans (PDET, in Spanish).

‘Thanks to Colombia PUEDE and the technical assistance I have received from ITC, I was able to carry out the process of certification for RPE,’ said Luz Denis Gómez, a Tahití lime producer and member of the Llorente Zone Farmers Association (Asoprocal) in the Municipality of Leiva.

‘This certificate is very important because it helps me to demonstrate my compliance with international trade standards, thus allowing me to access the market better. I have already benefited by increasing my income and the profitability of my production,’ she said.

The RPE certification is subject to various requirements related to agricultural practices and property infrastructure. The producer must comply with strict standards, including ensuring adequate phytosanitary management, guaranteeing water quality, ensuring the safety of workers, and implementing environmentally friendly practices.

The certification is an enabling requirement for the exports of fruits and vegetables from Colombia. It is a crucial element of Colombia PUEDE’s strategy to enhance the income of small farmers in some of the most impoverished and violence-affected areas in Colombia.

Despite the generalized lockdowns and limitations posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the project’s goal is to reach 90 producers with RPE certifications by the end of 2020.

About ITC - The International Trade Centre is the joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. ITC assists small and medium-sized enterprises in developing and transition economies to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the frameworks of the Aid-for-Trade agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

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