Nigeria: Dobi Agro achieves GLOBAL.G.A.P & GRASP certifications
Based in Abuja, Dobi Agro Limited is a Nigerian agro business that specializes in growing and processing vegetables, herbs, and spices. Their range of crops includes capsicum (bell pepper/bird eye chilies), tomatoes, cucumber, baby corn, butternut squash, common bean, spring onions, and more. Since 2021, the company is supported by FFM SPS programme. In October 2022, Dobi Agro achieved GLOBAL. G.A.P. , a certification that serves as evidence of Dobi Agrico’s commitment to implementing good agricultural practices. COLEAD’ support involved capacity building for Dobi Agrico’s technical team, focusing on the standard’s requirements, crop protection trainings, assistance in adapting the company’s quality management system, and a mock audit.
in addition, Dobi Agrico underwent a successful assessment of its social practices against the GRASP (GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice) standard in August 2022. The company demonstrated full compliance with all 10 control points relevant to its operations. This accomplishment positions Dobi Agrico as one of the pioneering companies in Nigeria to pass a GRASP assessment.
New video: “Helping partner countries meet the EU’s Green deal ambitions- the AGRINFO & FFM + examples“
From 12th to 14th June, the European Commission (EC) organised a seminar on the theme “Trade, Private Sector, Development & Engagement.” The event took place online and in Brussels and was intended by representatives from European Union delegations. On this occasion, DG INTPA invited COLEAD to produce a short video to illustrate the session “How to make the Green Deal a positive agenda for EU partner countries?”
While the video was produced for this event, we are sharing it here as we believe it is a good way to explain, in 4 minutes, the essence of programmes such as FFM Plus and AGRINFO.
Angola: Unlocking business opportunities with Marlene José
On Wednesday 7 June, 14h00-16h00 UTC+2, Marlene José will present her business during a side event on Unlocking business opportunities for young entrepreneurs organised by FARA, the COLEAD, YPARD and GFAR at the 8th African Agribusiness and Science Week (AASW8).
The session will be held online and on-site in Durban, South Africa. Online participants have to register using this link: https://bit.ly/3ohei4m
Marlene is the founder and CEO of Angolan agribusiness FoodCare Lda. Created in 2020, FoodCare aims to add Angolan gastronomy to the world map and to promote traditional Angolan food products by producing and packaging products that meet the highest standards set by international markets. A pioneer in the food processing sector in Angola, FoodCare produces a wide range of 100% organic products destined for local and international markets. The company establishes relationships with small food processors in Angola to collectively achieve support and training on food processing practices, business management and financial support for machinery and infrastructure. Additionally, it provides mentoring, engages with and supports the empowerment of others in the value chain.
Nigeria: agronomists build capacity in crop protection
Fit For Market Plus (FFM+) recently organized a 5-day group training in Ibadan to reinforce the practices shared in a training previously held by COLEAD for Nigerian agronomists last year on the safe and effective use of appropriate pest control methods. This year’s group training aimed to share best practices, and teach effective messaging on safe pesticide use and crop protection to colleagues and members.
Trainers Jimi Talabi and James Ekele employed field training workshop methodology and role-playing exercises to impart knowledge, improve understanding, and facilitate the adoption of good practices among the trainees’ organizations. The workshop was said to be engaging and the participants showed a strong willingness to learn.
Fit For Market Plus to benefit Malawi’s horticultural sector
As of early March 2023, a total of 65 programme applications for support have been received from Malawi. FFM+ applications were received from: 47 horticultural companies (producers, processors), 12 smallholder support structures, 5 service providers and 1 professional association. The Embassy of Malawi in Brussels communicated with key stakeholders in the country, particularly the Malawi Investment & Trade Centre, which played an important role in disseminating the information about the programme at a national level.
COLEACP becomes COLEAD
Don’t say COLEACP anymore but COLEAD – Committee Linking Entrepreneurship-Agriculture-Development. On the organisation’s website, the change of name of the implementing agency of the Fit for market Plus programme is presented as “the result of a participatory and iterative process carried out with the marketing committee of the Board of Directors, the team, the members of the association and its main partners. The main motivations/reasons behind the evolution of the name were to represent the mission and vision of the association, to facilitate the understanding and ownership of who we are and what we do, rather than where we do it.”
Zimbabwe: pineapple smallholders achieve organic certification
In August 2021, 45 smallholder pineapple farmers in Rusitu Valley, Chipinge, members of the Rusitu Valley Fruit Growers and Marketing Trust (RVFGMT), received a major boost when they achieved organic certification of their pineapples by Ecocert. The attainment of organic certification is a critical milestone in reaching lucrative global markets for organic fruit.
The long journey to organic certification was impacted by events – the pineapple producers were strongly affected by Cyclone Idai in 2019; and two years later the final auditing process took place at a challenging time as Covid 19 cases spiked in Harare.
In 2019, following the devastation caused by the cyclone, the National Trade Development and Promotion Organisation ZimTrade requested COLEACP support for RVFGMT. Organic certification was prioritised as the key ambition. In collaboration with ZimTrade and other partners, notably including GreenStone Foods (the international offtake market earmarked by the Trust), two years of intensive work, negotiation and cooperation have now resulted in successful certification by Ecocert.
- Watch also the video “Rising to the challenge” : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqGuFRJX-4g
Study tour to Kenya by Somalia’s competent authorities
In the last week of May 2022, Kenya hosted a study tour by the Somalian competent authorities – the Somali Bureau of Standards (SOBS) and the Somali Agricultural Regulatory and Inspection Services (SARIS), part of the Ministry of Agriculture & Irrigation (MoA). They visited the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) among other key stakeholders in the country – the Fresh Produce Exporters Association of Kenya (FPEAK), Pest Control Products Board (PCPB), Bureau Veritas and Naivasha VegPro Group.
The tour was supported by COLEACP through Fit For Market SPS, in partnership with the EU SPDI (Support to Policy Dialogue on Investment Climate) programme. The objective was to support the Somali authorities to gain a good understanding of the legal and administrative frameworks involved in the successful functioning of a National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) and of national standards bodies. The goal was to support the country’s competent authorities to develop a joint strategy for the development of technical regulations and standards for plant health inspection services, based on regional and international best practices.
The tour covered a lot of ground, and in particular supported SARIS and SOBS to understand their mandates better and build strong cooperation between the two organisations.
The visit also highlighted that the emergence of export associations for agricultural produce will be key to SARIS’ ability to develop efficient, market demand-driven phytosanitary services. The highly perishable nature of agricultural produce requires close cooperation and partnership between NPPOs and exporters to ensure efficient and effective certification operations that can support the competitiveness of the local industry.
Building an efficient and effective quality infrastructure for agriculture (livestock, crops and fisheries) – the most important sector of the Somali economy – will be an essential ingredient for competitiveness, access to new markets, productivity improvement, innovation of new products, and environmental protection, as well as the health and safety of local and international consumers.