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 modernisation
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 UGANDA
In recent years, Uganda has experienced a high number of interceptions due to the presence in consignments of quarantine pests such as false codling moth (Thaumatotibia leucotreta), fruit flies (non-European Tephritidae), and eggplant fruit and shoot borer (Leucinodes orbonalis), and is high on the EC’s Non-EU Trade Alert List. The country is also facing increasing Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) notifications for exceeding maximum residue levels (MRLs).
Following the entry into force of the new EU Plant Health Regulation in December 2019, Uganda is strengthening its SPS control system to respond effectively to the new requirements. Both public and private sectors need to take the necessary steps to ensure conformity of consignments.
Since January 2021, COLEACP counts with the support of a focal point in the country (National Relay). The services provided by the national relay will 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 COLEACP’s’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.
Two programmes are currently implemented by COLEACP in Uganda: Fit For Market and Fit For Market SPS.For both programmes, on a demand-driven basis, horticultural stakeholders are supported to meet market requirements and improve their overall sustainability performance. Support includes food safety and environmental management, social compliance and overall business management.
COLEACP’s priorities in Uganda, through its Fit For Market and Fit For Market SPS programmes, are:
- Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues, giving priority to the management of false codling moth on chillies through support targeted at both the Competent Authority and private actors in the sector (production/export companies, professional organisations, consultants, etc.);
- The development of a Good Practice Guide for Capsicum to help all the different actors working to produce their crops and products under the best sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) conditions;
- Implementation of action plans with the competent authorities, in particular in the context of the preparation and monitoring of the implementation of the measures mentioned the dossiers with a view to ensuring the conformity of products with EU requirements;
- Structuring of the sector, particularly strengthening the professional organisations to represent the sector and provide advocacy, information and members’ services;
- Capacity strengthening for horticultural operators and supporting structures through on-site training, group training, training-of-trainers and coaching, with an emphasis on practical training.
In this context, COLEACP is currently supporting the Department of Crop Inspection and Certification (DCIC) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF). DCIC is the mandated National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) and needs to take appropriate corrective actions to ensure that plants and plant products exported to the EU are free from harmful organisms and do not exceed the MRLs.
In accordance with the Implementing Directive (2019/523/EC) and the Regulation (EU) 2019/2072, DCIC must submit a dossier to the EU identifying control measures and actions to be taken at all stages of the value chain from production to export, by both public and private sectors. Uganda must guarantee that, among other, Capsicum (hot peper, chili) exported are free of harmful organisms.
COLEACP provides assistance to strengthen national SPS capacity and support the DCIC to take corrective actions, based on DG SANTE’s recommendations during audits, and to compile monitoring data’s and information needed to complete the CAPSICUM dossier.
COLEACP also directly supports private sector operators involved in fresh produce export value chains. Currently, 30 memoranda of understanding have been signed, with Ugandan producers’ cooperatives, exporters, consultancy firms, and private sector associations. Some new requests for supportare currently being analysed and an MoU will be developed.
Collective trainings are being organised to reinforce private companies’ capacity, either face-to face, fully digital or a combination of both. Some examples covering different thematics are listed here below, amongst many others;
- “Crop protection, integrated pest management and safe use of pesticides” with an emphasis on false codling moth;
- Organic production;
- Commercial negotiations;
Based on requests for support from companies, specific activities are organized tailor made to particular capacity building needs and ambitions of organisations (GLOBALG.A.P. and organic certification, crop management, basic business skills and access to finance, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points(HACCP), etc.); and business, governance and communication skills (strategy, website, etc.).
In response to the challenges caused by the COVID-19-pandemic, COLEACP is organising Ugandan companies and consultants to Business Survival Bootcamps (interactive 2-hour webinars) offering practical business tools and e-coaching to cope with the economic challenges they are facing. Furthermore, trainings followed by e-coaching sessions are offered to implement safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus within Ugandan companies. COLEACP will continue to highlight changes that have implications for fresh produce exports to the EU, identifying areas where public and private sector stakeholders need to take action. COLEACP promotes and facilitates discussions between the public and private sectors to prevent any break in trade.
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.
COLEACP is in regular contact with the main development actors in Uganda. A more concrete partnership is beginning with an STDF project in Uganda, involving CABI, “Enhancing the capacity of the fruit and vegetable sector to comply with phytosanitary requirements for export to global markets” (STDF/PG/543). A training programme has been established to improve the skills and knowledge of phytosanitary inspectors from both private and public sectors to ensure compliance of exported produce with the plant health requirements of importing countries.