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 SIERRA LEONE
COLEACP’s strategy in Sierra Leone, based on the current situation of the horticultural sector, feedback from missions conducted in May 2018, March 2019 and October 2019 and requests for support received has several objectives:
- Support companies that are already on the export market in order to comply with food safety requirements and standards;
- Advise the Competent Authorities on how to comply with EU Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) requirements with a focus on the new EU plant health regulation.
- Support companies and groups of producers selling on local and regional markets to comply with requirements mainly regarding food safety issues;
- Support companies, including processors, to become more competitive through reviews and advice on their management practices;
Depending on the target, topics covered focus on:
- food safety and SPS requirements (regulations and private standards)
- pest and disease management in line with the EU requirements and with the new EU regulation on plant health (with a focus on Fruit flies, White flies and False Codling Moth)
- sustainable agriculture, with a focus on Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
- management practices, with a focus on processors
- markets requirements at national, regional and international levels
Target Beneficiaries: producing/processing and exporting entities, service providers, associations and cooperatives, small-holders support structures and Competent Authorities.
Mode of operation: The objective is to build capacities and internal training systems through technical support, on-site and group training, training-of-trainers and coaching as well as to develop local expertise regarding export requirements.
COLEACP’s activities with the Sierra Leonian horticultural industry will be implemented through both FFM and FFM-SPS programmes. They will be implemented either globally (e.g supporting SPS issues or improve global systems) or individually (e.g. supporting a development project of an individual company). When relevant, Sierra Leonian beneficiaries will be invited to join group training sessions organised at national or regional level.
Individual and tailor-made support is provided when targeting the development of a project at company / service level and is currently focusing on Good Agricultural Practices and implementation of Quality / food safety management system).
Since 2018, 18 requests for support have been received from private companies (6), cooperatives of producers (5), NGO or consultancy firms. So far, 13 memorandum of agreement have been signed with the beneficiaries and the other applications are currently analysed.
Moreover, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) sent a letter requesting COLEACP intervention to support the horticultural sector and the FFM-SPS application for support from the National Plant Protection Office (NPPO) has been received in August 2019 : A first technical workshop, bringing together stakeholders from the horticultural value chain took place in October in order to identify needs, build a national action plan and define priority actions for 2020.
In parallel, a collaboration has been initiated directly with the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) in order to conduct a Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) : this is a long term and multi-stakeholders exercise, using the IPPC tool and methodology in order to analysed in depth what is required to have an efficient national phytosanitary system in place. The NPPO has hosted the first PCE mission in November 2019 and the work is currently on-going in order to fulfil the 13 modules.
In connection with these interventions, strengthening public-private dialogue is also a priority
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 of providing a response to the requests for types of support which are beyond COLEACP’s framework and current remit.
Operationnal partnerships have not yet been initiated in Sierra Leone but contacts have been established with GIZ, theWorld Bank and UNIDO and also the International Organization for Migration (IOM) :
- GIZ is currently implementing the technical assistance for the EU funded – “Boosting Agriculture and Food Security Project – Promotion of Agribusiness and Innovative Farming”
- UNIDO is piloting the national project on “Increasing Sierra Leone’s competitiveness through enhanced productivity and trade compliance in selected value chains” – focusing on 3 value chains: cassava, cocoa and oil palm
- In April 2019, the World Bank launched the Sierra Leone Agro-processing Competitiveness Project, and is also implementing the SCAPED project : SCADEP supports Farmer’s Based organizations (FBO) in palm oil, cocoa and horticulture
- And IOM also recently launched a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) project funded by the Japanese Cooperation, in collaboration with large agro-processing companies.