New COLEACP programme announcement: NExT Kenya – Enhancing horticultural exports
COLEACP has just launched its new NExT (New Export Trade) Kenya programme. The EU-financed €5 million, 4-year programme aims to secure lasting improvement in the capacity of all stakeholders to adapt to evolving sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS), commercial, social and environmental requirements on local, regional and international horticultural markets. The main priority is to strengthen the capacities and skills of MSMEs and business membership organisations in the areas of SPS and market requirements; and of the private and public services that support the horticultural sector. Engagement between the public and private sectors in Kenyan horticultural value chains is supported by COLEACP’s history of providing a bridge between the two sectors.
This is a Kenya-based programme. The priorities have been informed by a detailed consultation process with key stakeholders in Kenyan horticulture from both private and public sectors. Implemented by a programme management unit based in Nairobi, NExT Kenya will be supported by a growing network of local experts within the country, based on COLEACP’s proven system and tools for training, technical support and institutional capacity-building. We will be working closely with national organisations in the sector, including the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS); Pest Control Products Board (PCPB); Horticultural Crops Directorate (HCD); and Kenya Agriculture and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO).
Kenya’s €1.3 billion horticultural export trade continues to focus on Europe, but is looking to develop new destinations in Africa and beyond – while reacting to current challenges including extreme weather and pest events, COVID-19, and changing trade agreements. Food safety will be critical, especially regarding active substance residues on beans and peas. Increased levels of control imposed by the EU in 2013 had been lifted – but due to increasing interceptions, more stringent surveillance for Kenya was introduced in January 2019, and the frequency of checks on all beans imported to the EU from Kenya was increased again to 10% in May 2020. Interceptions due to harmful organisms have remained stable for fruit and vegetables, but for cut flowers increased fivefold between 2017 and 2018/2019.
To learn more about NExT Kenya or express an interest, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nigeria and Guinea: Digital market access with national professional associations
Impacts on logistics and access to markets have been raised by COLEACP members and partners as major issues due to COVID-19. COLEACP is therefore working on innovative national and international logistics and trade solutions to help ensure continued trade in agricultural and food products. These solutions include matching supply to demand for available logistics routes; and diversifying from export markets to local/regional markets, and from fresh to processing. After a 3-month pilot phase, the first matches between local fruit and vegetable suppliers and local buyers were recorded in Guinea and Nigeria, thanks to the involvement of the professional associations FEPAF (Fédération des Planteurs de la Filière fruit) and the Agricultural Fresh Produce & Exporters Association of Nigeria (AFGEAN), using a digital interface designed by COLEACP as part of its COVID-19 action plan. The objective now is to build on this trial by developing a more comprehensive web platform, integrating this and other services such as access to logistics information, market developments, and training. The web platform will also be used for the promotion of associations and their members. The test phase is still ongoing in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Kenya.
STDF Guinea progress report
On 16 July, COLEACP reported on progress to the biannual meeting of the Steering Committee for the STDF Guinea project. This Standards and Trade Development Facility project aims to build phytosanitary capacity in Guinea, focusing on the potato and mango value chains. Regarding the objective of improved governance, an international expert trained by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) with the support of a Guinean expert is working remotely to analyse current regulations and propose new legislative and enforcement proposals consistent with the IPPC and the World Trade Organization SPS Agreement. To strengthen the operational processes of the phytosanitary system, a local mission has made it possible to consult all stakeholders in the potato sector (producer representatives, agents of the National Directorate for the Protection of Plants, Stored Foodstuffs and Technical Control – DNPVDS-CT, research institutes, etc.) and to identify the main pests. For the mango sector, there are synergies with outputs of COLEACP’s Fit For Market SPS programme, including consolidation of the fruit fly monitoring system (initially set up by the ECOWAS Regional Fruit Fly Management Project) and developing a strategy for monitoring of orchards by exporters; and support to DNPVDS-CT to produce the mango dossier submitted to the European Union and approved in March 2020. COLEACP’s new country website for Guinea provides access to a range of live statistical information including volumes of products exported and EUROPHYT interceptions. Training has been carried out in pest recognition and control; setting up and maintaining a monitoring system; and phytosanitary control and certification, delivered directly or by DNPVDS-CT agents coached by a national expert. A steering committee (COPIL) has been established to approve activities and advise COLEACP on follow-up. The project continues to 2022. For the next phase (to December 2020), these activities will continue alongside (for potato) validation of the choice of pest to be monitored, initiation of a risk analysis and development of a pest monitoring system; and (for mango) the development of a technical itinerary, and monitoring and surveillance systems.
GLOBALG.A.P.: participatory process to achieve the NIG for Ghana
The newest addition to the GLOBALG.A.P. Document Centre is the National Interpretation Guideline for Ghana, published on 16 July 2020. Ghana’s National Technical Working Group (NTWG), with support from GIZ and COLEACP and the participation of local stakeholders, formulated and worked through the approval process for the guideline (NIG).
Victor Avah of Gaps Consulting Limited, Akosombo, Ghana spoke to COLEACP about the process of working with multiple stakeholders to achieve the NIG for Ghana – and the benefits to producers of GLOBALG.A.P.’s “Think Global, Act Local” philosophy:
“The NIG will be a good benefit to growers because they will get a more local understanding of the GLOBALG.A.P. protocol, so that they can easily do their work without any problems or difficulty in understanding the protocol. Because now they will be able to do it in the Ghanaian local sense.”
An NIG is a document that provides guidance on how to implement GLOBALG.A.P. Control Points and Compliance Criteria at national level. Developed by the NTWG, each NIG goes through a transparent NIG Approval Procedure and, once approved, becomes a normative GLOBALG.A.P. document. This means that all the certification bodies working in the respective country must include this guideline within their certification procedures and inform all their customers about the NIG.
So the engagement of all stakeholders is crucial. Victor Avah, Secretary to Ghana’s NTWG, worked with Emmanuel Owusu, representatives of GIZ Ghana (Christoph Pannhausen and Richard Nyumuah), three national certifying bodies (Africet, Control Union and NSF), two farmers (Seth Djanmah and Gideon Bokomi), and a farm assurer (Michael Cudjoe), following the steps of the approval process and culminating in a one-day stakeholders’ workshop at the University of Ghana to confirm the outcomes. A COLEACP UK-based consultant, Dr Andrew Graffham, assisted with ensuring the document met all the requirements.
The main challenge was that, despite receiving some financial support, the lengthy process also depended heavily on the goodwill of all participants, particularly with the need to travel outside Accra. The NTWG had experience of working on a previous version of the NIG, and that accumulated knowledge, plus the will to succeed by all collaborators, made the successful outcome possible.
So Victor’s advice to other countries wishing to work towards their own NIG is that it can be done. Although the process may seem daunting, once the members of the NTWG become conversant with the protocols of GLOBALG.A.P., it becomes clearer. But the main message is that it is worth it; as Victor says, the NIG “helps you understand the GLOBALG.A.P. protocol; it helps the farmers to adopt and implement the protocols in your specific country”.
“I’d like to thank COLEACP very much for making funds available for us to do this work. The Ghana team was determined that we had to do it, and the calibre of people who were on board were determined to do it. And we did it. I’d also like to thank GIZ because they helped a lot – they were behind us, pushing us, making sure that we had everything that we needed to make sure this work goes on. They were very supportive. I’d also like to thank Mr Owusu, and our consultant in the UK.”
Updated guidelines for export of peppers from Africa to the EU
As reported by Dutch horticultural news outlet Groenten Nieuws (14 July) and others, COLEACP guidelines for the export of fresh capsicum from Africa, Madagascar, Cape Verde and Mauritius have recently been updated and made publicly available. The guidelines clearly indicate the conditions that must be met to ensure that exports comply with the EU’s phytosanitary requirements. They explain the information to be provided and the actions to be taken, from cultivation to export, as well as the tasks of the national authorities and inspection services. The document has been updated with new information and changes in legislation and regulations.