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 NIGERIA
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 digitalisation of advisory and training activities.
COLEACP’s strategy for Nigeria is based on the current situation of the horticultural sector in Nigeria, feedback from missions carried out in 2017, 2018 and 2020, COLEACP’s past activities in the country, and the 64 requests for support received so far. The strategy has several objectives:
- support companies and producers selling on local and regional markets to help them comply with requirements, mainly regarding food safety;
- support companies that are already on the export market to help them comply with food safety and sustainability requirements and standards;
- support companies, including processing units, to become more competitive through reviews and advice on their management practices;
- advise the competent authorities on how to implement a national food safety system and how to comply with EU sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements, with a focus on the new EU plant health regulation.
The vegetable sector, as well as the mango, pineapple and ginger sectors, have been identified as supply chains with growth potential on local, regional and international markets. COLEACP activities to strengthen the skills of horticultural stakeholders include:
- professionalisation of stakeholders who want to be involved in international markets: requirements for high-end markets, food safety management, Good Agricultural Practices and sustainable production;
- inclusive value chains: strengthening links between operators, and specifically supporting companies to implement outgrower schemes;
- sustainable agriculture: promoting sustainable agricultural practices, with a focus on crop protection and integrated pest management as well as soil management;
- support to professional organisations: developing and strengthening their services to members;
- national SPS issues: support for competent authorities and for the private sector in response to phytosanitary crises, compliance with new EU regulations, etc.
By March 2021, 64 requests for support had been received by COLEACP from 34 Nigerian producing and exporting companies, 21 support structures (consultants and consultancy firms, NGOs, training centers), and two requests from the professional associations. To date, 52 Memoranda of Understanding have been signed.
Depending on the target groups, topics covered focus on:
- food safety and SPS requirements (regulations and private standards);
- pest and disease management in line with EU requirements and the new EU regulation on plant health;
- sustainable agriculture, with a focus on organic agriculture;
- risk analysis and internal auditing;
- management practices, with a focus on processing structures;
- market requirements at national, regional and international levels;
- capacity building of Nigerian service providers on food safety, private voluntary standards, sweet potato production and building sustainable agribusiness linkages.
MODES OF OPERATION
Technical support, on-site and group training, training-of-trainers and coaching are provided, with an emphasis on practical training.
Activities to strengthen skills in the horticultural sector are organised across supply chains, and where possible through the support structures and professional organisations already in place that seek to strengthen their services to members. Companies may also receive support on an individual basis, for example to improve their competitiveness.
Other priorities for the horticultural sector in Nigeria that fall outside COLEACP’s remit will also be taken into account through complementary financing or partnerships. These include:
- improvement of infrastructure (airport facilities such as cold storage and packaging stations) and logistics;
- access to improved and registered inputs (seeds, etc.);
- access to finance.
Developing partnerships is a way to guarantee efficient use of funds and avoid duplication of activities. It is also a means of providing a comprehensive response to requests that fall outside COLEACP’s framework and sphere of activity.
COLEACP will continue to liaise with programmes supporting the fruit and vegetable sector, such as with International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) and the 2SCALE programme; Nigeria Agribusiness Group (NABG); the GIZ Nigeria Competitiveness Project (NICOP); and the EU-funded West Africa Competitiveness Programme (WACOMP), rolled out at regional and national levels in the 15 ECOWAS Member States. In Nigeria, WACOMP focuses on four value chains, including tomato and pepper.
Contacts has also been established with Oxfam Nigeria and with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria.