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 CAMEROON
COLEACP’s priority areas of intervention of in Cameroon through its Fit For Market and Fit For Market SPS programmes are:
- Structuring of commodity chains and particularly strengthening the capacities of professional associations to represent the commodity chain, advocacy, communication and services to members.
- Sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues, with priority given to the management of fruit flies on mangoes. Support is targeted at both the competent authority and private sector actors (production/export companies, professional organisations, consultants, …).
- Information and training on the new European Union (EU) plant health regulations.
- Strengthening the skills of actors in the horticultural sector:
- targets: producers, professional/interprofessional organisations, national consultants, management structures, public services;
- topics: standards and regulations, quality management, good agricultural practices, sustainable production with a focus on soil management and fertiliser application, access to finance, access to markets;
- modalities: on-site training, group training, training-of-trainers and coaching, with an emphasis on practical training.
These priorities have been determind on the basis of an inventory of the Cameroonian horticultural sector (2011) and a participatory workshop organised by COLEACP and CAON-FED in May 2017 in Douala.
The pineapple, mango, avocado, onion and market gardening sectors are identified as having development potential on local, regional and international markets. In addition, pepper (Piper nigrum) is the subject of a specific support programme.
Following the entry into force of the new European plant health regulations in December 2019, Cameroon must prepare itself to respond effectively to these new requirements. The main commodity chains concerned are mango and aubergine, for which quarantine organisms are present in Cameroon (fruit fly and eggplant fruit and shoot borer: Leucinodes orbonalis). In this context, from the beginning of 2019 COLEACP has been providing support to Cameroon’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) to strengthen the national SPS system. This action plan started in 2019, includes several components:
- risk assessment
- procedures for registering and categorising operators and regulating campaign opening and closing dates
- review of phytosanitary inspection and certification procedures
- review of the sampling plan
- developing a mango dossier for the EU which was finalised in 2020
- strengthening public–private dialogue
- Capacity building for inspectors
- a regional approach to control methods.
A memorandum of understanding was also signed with the CPAC (Comité des Pesticides d’Afrique Centrale) within the framework of support for the registration of phytosanitary products in the CEMAC zone. This request covers quality control of pesticides in the CEMAC zone and procedures for registration of biopesticides.
In addition to the activities carried out through the Fit For Market and Fit For Market SPS programmes, in October 2019 COLEACP began supporting the Penja pepper sector (Penja Pepper Geographical Indication Group, IGPP) to improve the quality of pepper through a World Trade Organization-funded Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) programme. The first phase of this project consists of conducting an SPS risk analysis at the different stages of pepper production and processing. This analysis has been carried out and has served as a basis for the drafting of a good practice guide, which will in turn serve as a reference for the development of training tools. Capacity building for the various stakeholders has started in 2021.
COLEACP’s activities within the horticultural sector are either cross-cutting (in the event of SPS crisis management, for example) or organised individually (e.g. support for companies to improve their competitiveness). The volume of support activities will depend on the number of requests from stakeholders in Cameroon’s horticultural sector.
Based on our knowledge of the commodity chains, COLEACP’s past experience in Cameroon, and the objectives of the programmes, we plan to work with about 30 production companies, 20 service providers, two professional organisations, a public–private discussion platform, several universities, and the public services in charge of the national food safety system. To date (March 2020), 40 memoranda of understanding have been signed with Cameroonian organisations.
In 2021, we plan to continue this support for sustainable production. Support regarding the EU plant health regulations is among the priorities, mainly through the action plan signed with MINADER.
Since March 2020, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, COLEACP has adapted its modus operandi and has organised itself to continue working while integrating on a daily basis the recommendations related to the evolution of the pandemic in the different regions of the world. The safety of the experts who are members of the network, as well as of the staff of members and partners, is COLEACP’s priority.
Adjustments have therefore been necessary at the level of field activities to comply with the precautionary measures related to COVID-19.
This does not have a direct impact on the main thrusts of the strategy in the country but justifies an adaptation of support, increased use of conference-vision tools and, as far as possible, an accelerated digitalisation of advisory and training activities.
In Cameroon, COLEACP relies on a National Relay, Mr Guy Wamba, to monitor and implement the activities planned by the association and its technical assistance programmes.
The preferred partners currently identified are:
- CAON-FED, with which regular exchanges are maintained on current and future projects;
- The GIZ proCISA project (Green Innovation Centres for the Agriculture and Food Sector), which also supports the mango sector;
- The AfDB-funded PDCVA (Project for the Development of Agricultural Value Chains);
- The AFD’s PAMPIG 2 project, the AGROPOLE project and the UKTP project (ITC), which are all working to strengthen the capacity of the Penja pepper industry