COLEACP aims to ensure that smallholders, farmer groups and horticultural MSMEs have the capacity to implement preventive health and safety measures related to COVID-19. COLEACP is helping to raise public awareness of the coronavirus, how it is spread, the barrier actions to apply, the principles to employ and, most importantly, the new behaviours to adopt to avoid contaminating colleagues, families and communities.
The first step in this process has been to develop content with scientists, on the basis of WHO and FAO recommendations, to develop a distance learning course. This course is primarily aimed at experts – trainers working with the horticultural sector in ACP countries – who have the capacity to assimilate the key messages and to disseminate them widely to target audiences.
The first sections of this training are now online. More than 40 experts from different ACP countries are being trained, not only in basic knowledge on coronavirus and COVID-19, but also in good practices horticultural companies should adopt to continue their activities while fighting the pandemic, as well as how to disseminate barrier gestures within communities. The training also provides the necessary tools to support horticultural companies to apply these measures. Following this training, coaching will be organised by COLEACP in partnership with the experts who have successfully completed the training.
The second step will be to extend the dissemination of key messages to stakeholders (public and private) and rural populations through PAFO members and other rural networks, in particular family farms exposed to COVID-19 risks. A cascading system is established, from the person acting as first relay, to successive layers of dissemination among the populations of workers, producers and members of their respective communities.