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.
Since May 2020, COLEACP counts with the support of a focal point in the country (National Relay). 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: pineapples, mango, citrus, sweet potato, chillies and peas. Support is being provided to the following beneficiaries.
- Private sector representatives (from MSMEs to large-scale operators) active in production and processing (e.g. dried fruits, purees and juices).
- Companies supplying local, regional and export markets.
- Professional organizations (associations, support structures and sector representatives). Ghana has a number of associations representing the main horticultural stakeholders (e.g. Sea-Freight Pineapple Exporters of Ghana, SPEG; Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association of Ghana, VEPEAG; Federation of Ghanaian Exporters, FAGE; Ghana Association of Vegetable Exporters, SPVCA (Sweet Potato Value Chain Association), GSA (Global Shea Alliance). For a Ghanaian horticultural company to be able to export, it needs to be part of a national accredited association. Some of these associations are Fit For Market beneficiaries, and others are working closely with other international organizations.
- Consultancy firms and experts.
- 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, COLEACP has been liaising with the Ghanaian Competent Authorities, particularly the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (PPRSD).
MODE OF OPERATION
From the launch of the Fit For Market programme in June 2017 up to January 2021, COLEACP received 42 requests for intervention from Ghana, which led to the drafting of 37 Memoranda of Understanding.
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.
- Public sector representatives – an action plan is being designed with the PPRSD to address specific challenges to make the country operators compliant with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) matters and with EU market requirements.
An Action Plan for Ghana will be implemented through the programmeFit For Market SPS and will include activities under the following 4 axes (COLEACP approach) :
- Operational Activities
- Capacity Management
- Communication and relationships dynamics
Focus collective trainings:
COLEACP organized since the launching of the FFM programme the following collective trainings addressed to private sector operators:
- Food Safety Management – addressed to technical staff (quality and traceability managers, internal trainers, extension staff, agronomists). Outcomes: ability to implement, maintain and improve a food safety management and traceability system and apply the principles of hygiene in their company or cooperative.
- Crop protection, Integrated Pest Management and Safe Use of Pesticides – training addressed to technical and extension staff responsible for the production and phytosanitary treatments. Outcomes: to enable participants to know and apply the basic principles of crop protection and safe use of pesticides (diagnostic, pest control methods, safe use of pesticides).
- Practical collective training – Field Training Workshop on Hygiene, Traceability, Crop protection & Safe Use of Pesticides
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.
Regional fruit fly programme
In the context of the phytosanitary problems posed by fruit flies for the mango sector, COLEACP has collaborated in the past with the ECOWAS regional project (fruit fly programme) 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 / FFM-SPS to help Ghana in particular to size and maintain its national surveillance system. Indeed, surveillance is a key element of the fruit fly control strategy.
Within the framework of its Memorandum of Understanding with ECOWAS, COLEACP will identify areas of collaboration, including with the new SyRIMAO project, in the context of national and regional surveillance in particular.
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/Fit For Market 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).
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.