Workshops focus on West African fruit and vegetable sectors
Lomé, Togo, 7 April 2017/ COLEACP/ ACP: National and regional talks on enhancing the West African fruit and vegetable sector while boosting exports, took place in Lomé, Togo from 4-6 April, co-organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Water Resources of the Republic of Togo, the ACP Secretariat and the COLEACP.
The workshops aimed to identify key factors for the development of successful fruit and vegetable sectors.
Delegations from UEMOA member countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo) as well as Cape Verde, Guinea Conakry and Mauritania shared experiences and best practices. Participants were able to outline priority actions to be undertaken in terms of capacity building, infrastructure and equipment.
Togo's exports of fruit and vegetables to the EU have more than doubled over the last 10 years, while exports from the UEMOA zone (West African Economic and Monetary Union) over the same period increased by almost 30% thanks to diversification in terms of production and consumption.
Mango, melon / watermelon, coconut and green bean have already paved the way for more inclusive, resilient and sustainable patterns. Investment by local and international enterprises in the agricultural sector of these countries has increased, encouraged by better governance, more favourable business environments (including increased regional integration), trade liberalisation and expansion of communication and transport.
Recipient markets, be they European, local or regional, have new potential. But the global offer is very competitive.
Only producers, exporters in West Africa in particular who meet the requirements of demand for compliance with standards, reliability, quantity and quality of products, will benefit from future developments. The other challenge is to ensure that the transfer of progress in export chains continues to be facilitated at the local level.
The national workshop to tackle these issues was held on 4 April on the theme: "Implementation of an action plan for the development of the Togolese fruit and vegetable sector". It was officially opened by Dr Hélène Nèmè BALI, Secretary General representing the Minister of Agriculture of Livestock and Water Resources of the Togolese Republic. Representing the ACP Secretariat was Assistant Secretary General in charge of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade, Mr. Viwanou Gnassounou.
The following 2 days focused on the regional level, in a workshop "Together for the performance of the West African fruit and vegetable sectors".
The workshops were held in the context of the launch of new public-private partnerships and the implementation of the Fit For Market program managed by COLEACP.
About the Fit for Market Project
The project is part of the Intra-ACP indicative programme supported by the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) under the ACP-EU Partnership. With €25 million in funding (2016-2020), its overall goal is to alleviate poverty, improve food security and food safety, and secure sustainable and inclusive growth by strengthening the agri-food export sector in ACP countries.
The specific objective is to allow smallholder farmers, producer groups, farmer organisations, and small and medium enterprises, to access international and domestic fruit and vegetable markets by complying with the SPS standards and market requirements, in a sustainable framework.
The Fit for Market project is managed by the Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP), a civil society organisation (CSO) established in 1973 whose main purpose is to support the development of a sustainable and competitive agriculture and agribusiness.
For more information, visit: http://www.coleacp.org/en/nos-programmes/fit-for-market