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 GHANA
COLEACP’s strategy and activities in Ghana are informed by requests for intervention and continuous communication with stakeholders (public and private), as well as information collected from visits to the country.
COLEACP has carried out three missions to Ghana in the framework of the Fit For Market and Fit For Market SPS programmes, in May 2017, April 2018 and July 2019. COLEACP took part in meetings and field visits with potential and future beneficiaries, the EU delegation, the French Development Agency, donors, associations, and representatives of the public and private sectors. Due to the Covid Situation, missions have been stopped and should resume in 2022, but contact was of course maintained with partners during the period.
Since May 2020, COLEACP counts with the support of a focal point in the country (National Relay), Mr Daniel KWAGBENU. The services provided by the national relay mainly contribute to facilitate relations with the various stakeholders in both public and private sectors, particularly at decision-making level and assist the COLEACP team in ensuring that the activities of the Association’s programmes are consistent with other projects and programmes implemented by other organisations whose objectives, or part of whose objectives, relate to the same field of activity.
COLEACP’s work in Ghana focuses on several fruit and vegetable value chains and mainly pineapples, mango, sweet potato, chillies and papayas. Support is being provided to the following beneficiaries (data of mid-October):
- Private sector representatives (from MSMEs to large-scale operators) active in production and processing (e.g. dried fruits, purees and juices)
- 32 Companies supplying local, regional and export markets
- 4 Professional organizations. This target group is important in Ghana as for a Ghanaian horticultural company to be able to export, it needs to be member of a national accredited association.
- 8 Consultancy firms and experts.
- 1 National Technical Working Group – support has been provided to align the Ghanaian National Interpretation Guidelines to the new version of GLOBALG.A.P. (v.5.2).
- Public sector representatives –since the launch of Fit For Market SPS, COLEACP has been liaising with the Ghanaian Competent Authorities, particularly the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (PPRSD) with the design of an action plan to address specific challenges to make the country operators compliant with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) matters and with EU market requirements. This action plan include activities under the following 4 axes (COLEACP approach) : (i)Governance, (ii)Operational Activities, (iii) Capacity Management and (iv)Communication and relationships dynamics
MODE OF OPERATION
The following are some of COLEACP’s activities with the different stakeholders.
- In the framework of the action plan under development with the PPRSD Ghana and upon the request of Ghanaian public-private sector representatives a workshop took place in September 2020 with the objective of creating awareness and facilitating understanding of the principal requirements for a pest free programme, and informing about the various options, namely pest free areas (PFAs), pest free places of production (PFPP), pest free production sites (PFPS) and areas of low pest prevalence (ALPP). The workshop was organized by the PPRSD and COLEACP through his national relay with active participation of curry leave producers.
- Inclusive value chains: strengthening links between private and public representatives and supporting operators to access markets (at regional and international levels). COLEACP coordinated a workshop in July 2019, as part of “FAGE Ghana Mango Week”, on the “New EU Plant Health Rules on Mango Exports”. A range of stakeholders working in the mango industry were invited to create an inclusive approach to address the challenges facing the sector.
- Promotion of sustainable agriculture with a focus on restoring/preserving soil fertility by adopting sustainable practices, including more efficient waste and water management practices.
- Reinforcement of operators’ diversification strategies.
- In order to strengthen the horticultural activity of GSA (Global Shea Alliance) members so they become more sustainable throughout the year (not depending exclusively on shea production) GSA requested COLEACP to support on good agricultural practices.
- COLEACP started in November 2020 the implementation a comprehensive training programme including the following thematic: technical training (hygiene and food safety, vegetable production – what, when, how – including post-harvest); business training (cost/benefit analysis for small producers) and pedagogical training (field training workshop – methods and tools to facilitate trainings)
- The final aim is to extend the vegetables production towards the whole collectors, so that there is a sustainable commercial activity all year long, to move from production as a source of subsistence to production as a source of income.
- Professionalization of stakeholders involved in local, regional and international markets for safe and rational crop production.
- Pest and disease management in line with EU requirements (maximum residue levels, quarantine pests) and with the EU regulations on plant health.
- In November 2020, COLEACP supported SPEG (Sea-Freight Pineapple Exporters of Ghana) in the organization of “awareness sessions on the appropriate use of ethephon” in Pokrom and Bawjiase. The field sessions included information on the good agricultural practices (theory and practice on the field), EU rules on the use of ethephon – MRLs notifications and awareness regarding economic and social implications of possible bans.
- The target group of the sessions were conventional pineapples producers/cooperatives supplying third-party companies (exporting to the EU) or exporting themselves to the EU.
- Support for operators’ business skills (management, human resources and communication).
- Facilitation of access to finance – introduction of pre-selected projects to potential investors.
- Reinforcement of Ghanaian experts in specific areas so that they are well aligned and compliant with the needs of country operators. Ghanaian experts often play a part in regional group training sessions organized by COLEACP.
Focus collective trainings:
COLEACP organized since the launching of the FFM programme the following collective trainings addressed to private sector operators, on the following topics :
- Food Safety Management
- Crop protection, Integrated Pest Management and Safe Use of Pesticides
- Good environmental practices (soil, water, etc.)
- Participation to trade fairs
- GLOBALG.A.P. requirements
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.
Through its regular visits and communication with key stakeholders, COLEACP is aware of the main programmes in Ghana. Developing partnerships is a way to guarantee efficient use of funds and avoid duplication of activities; it is also a way of providing a comprehensive response to requests that fall beyond COLEACP’s framework and sphere of activity.
COLEACP will continue to liaise with programmes that are supporting the fruit and vegetable sector in Ghana, mainly with the following organizations.
- GIZ MOAP (Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme in Ghana) – a programme commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
- CABI – an international not-for-profit organisation (headquarters in the UK).
More specifically, in the context of the phytosanitary problem represented by the fruit fly for the mango sector, COLEACP has collaborated in the past with the ECOWAS regional project (PLMF) which ended in August 2019. Between the end of this project (August 2019) and the start of the new project (SyRIMAO), technical support was provided by COLEACP/ FM-SPS to support ECOWAS countries to size and maintain its national surveillance system. Permanent contact with SyRIMAO coordination unit on the implementation of surveillance activities is important as surveillance is a crucial aspect of fruit fly control in the “Mango Dossier ” submitted to DG Health.
COLEACP is also in close contact with the Embassy of Ghana in Brussels, keeping the Ambassador and the team informed about its activities in the country.