10 INTERVENTION PRINCIPLES
No substitution of local stakeholders
Investment in local expertise and human resources
Pooling of problems and solutions / Economies of scale
Demand-driven intervention / Cost sharing
Export as factor of modernization
Structured relationship between local value chain operators
Cross-cutting focus on youth and gender
A SUSTAINABILITY APPROACH BASED ON 3 PILLARS: CHARTER, TRAINING AND SELF-ASSESSMENT
This provides a simple framework for continuous improvement, focusing on the business case so that adopting good practice not only facilitates market access, but genuinely helps suppliers run more efficient, profitable and resilient businesses. It consists of three central elements:
COLEACP APPROACH IN THE GAMBIA
COLEACP’s strategy for working with The Gambia is based on the current situation of the country’s horticultural sector, feedback from missions in March 2018 and July 2019, and requests for support received to date. The main objectives of the strategy are as follows.
- Support companies that are already on the export market to:
- comply with new requirements and standards;
- apply the pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest practices to avoid contamination of mango and capsicum export lots with harmful organisms (as described in the dossiers transmitted to the EU);
- implement sustainable practices, for example soil management, water management, social practices;
- set-up internal training systems to facilitate continuous capacity building of staff.
- Support producers to comply with the requirements of local and regional markets, with a major focus on high-end markets (e.g. tourism). Topics will include (among others):
- technical and financial analysis of clients’ requirements (business model analysis);
- basic food safety issues;
- quality of horticultural produce;
- crop protection, integrated pest management;
- risk analysis.
- Build capacities of national service providers and experts in terms of food safety (as a priority).
- Inform and build capacities of the competent authorities in line with the EU requirements (MRL, quarantine pests) and with the new EU regulation on plant health. In July 2019, a workshop was carried out with the NPPO in order to identify the needs of the competent authority in the area of SPS. This workshop took place following the reception of an application for support from the NPPO.
The NPPO action plan designed with the stakeholders focuses on the improvement of the national phytosanitary system for the management and control of fruit fly on mangoes and False Codling moth on mangoes. Since July, several activities have been conducted with the NPPO such as:
- The finalization of the mango dossier to be transmitted to the EU. This dossier has been accepted,
- The finalization of the capsicum dossier to be transmitted to the EU. This dossier has been accepted,
- A diagnosis of the Gambian situation regarding citrus greening on fresh curry leaves and the feasibility of a “pest Free Country” exercice to allow EU imports from the Gambia,
- Capacity building of the public and private actors regarding the content of the dossiers (Good practices at production, harvest and post-harvest levels and monitoring/inspection)
In The Gambia, seven Memoranda of Understanding have been signed (four with producing companies, two with consultants and one with the NPPO).
COLEACP activities for the Gambian horticultural industry are implemented globally, for example in supporting sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues, or individually, for example when supporting the development project of an export company. Companies are also invited to join group training sessions at regional level.
Finally, COLEACP plays a backstopping role in the regional Fruit Fly Programme, focusing on:
- the establishment of the national surveillance system;
- integrated pest management: preparing the installation of pilot orchards;
- building the capacity of National Committee staff.
This programme ended in August 2019, and the results are capitalized by other COLEACP programmes.
Since March 2020, and following the evolution of the Covid-19 situation, COLEACP has adapted its modus operandi and taken a series of measures to continue working while integrating domestic and international guidelines related to the evolution of the pandemic. The safety of human resources, including partners’ staff, service providers, and members, is COLEACP’s priority.
Adjustments have therefore been implemented regarding field activities to comply with the precautionary measures related to COVID-19.
This does not have a direct impact on the main focus areas of the country strategy, but justifies an adaptation of the technical support, an increased use of remote communication and meeting tools, and as much as possible, an accelerated digitisation of advisory and training activities.
Developing partnerships is a way to guarantee efficient use of funds and non-duplication, it’s also a way providing a response to the request for types of support which are beyond COLEACP’s framework and current remit. The activities planned in The Gambia will be organized in close collaboration with GIEPA (Gambia Investment and Export promotion Agency) which mission is “To promote a conducive environment, attract investments, develop exports and support businesses with the overriding objective of contributing towards employment creation and wealth generation.”
COLEACP is also collaborating with FAO in activities aimed at strengthening capacities of existing agricultural producers/SMEs with special focus on the needs of fresh fruit and vegetable growers/producers and exporters from The Gambia. A common mission was conducted in February 2019 to:
- develop additional exporting capabilities in the private sector
- access to local high-end markets such as tourism industry and supermarkets
- link producers with the exporting companies in the Gambia or in the region.
FAO and COLEACP will use these recommendations of this mission to orientate their respective support to the horticultural sector through their programme “Agriculture for Economic growth” (FAO) and “Fit For Market” programme (COLEACP).