The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Hydraulics of the Republic of Togo, the Secretary General of the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States (ACP), and the Europe-Africa-Caribbean-Pacific Liaison Committee (COLEACP) jointly organized national and regional information and exchange workshops in Lomé, Togo from April 4 - 6.

The objective of these workshops was to identify the key factors in the development of leading fruit and vegetable sectors in a context of launching new public-private partnerships, and implementing the Fit For Market program managed by COLEACP. Delegations from member states of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo), as well as Cape Verde, Guinea, and Mauritania shared their experiences in order to identify the priority actions to be taken in terms of building capacities, infrastructures and equipment.

Due to diversification in terms of production and markets, fruit and vegetable exports from Togo to the EU have more than doubled over the past 10 years, while exports from the UEMOA zone for the same period have increased by almost 30 percent, Mango, melon/watermelon, coconut and green peas have already opened the way for more inclusive, resilient and sustainable plants. Investments by local and international enterprises in the agricultural sector of these countries have increased, encouraged by better governance, more favorable commercial environments (with greater regional integration), the liberalization of exchanges, and an expansion of communication and transportation networks. 

Representatives from already certified producer groups shared their experience with the audience. Nigninnin SILUE – Manager for Quality Assurance and Traceability (RAQT) at COMAKO (Mango and Cashew Cooperative of Korhogo) said, “Due to GLOBALG.A.P. Certification, COMAKO has had access to the European market. When we started in 2009, we had difficulty accessing the European market without GLOBALG.A.P. Certification. However, with the support of COLEACP, we obtained GLOBALG.A.P. Certification in 2011 and accessed the European market for which we would like to express our appreciation for the acceptance.  Since then, we have renewed the GLOBALG.A.P. Certification, and today we also have Tesco Certification and are committed to the GRASP Certification as well.” 

The 2-day workshop, led by Guy Callebaut, Chairman of GLOBALG.A.P. and Anneke Voss, Team Leader Capacity Building, covered an introduction to the GLOBALG.A.P. System, the key changes between versions 4 and 5 of the Integrated Farm Assurance Standard, and an overview of GLOBALG.A.P. Certification in Africa. Delegates also gained valuable information on the possibilities for smallholders to achieve GLOBLG.A.P. Certification including the localg.a.p. Program–a stepping stone towards GLOBALG.A.P. certification, the GLOBALG.A.P. Academy Program, and the benefits of the GLOBALG.A.P. Farm Assurer program. The workshop also covered the GLOBALG.A.P. Risk Assessment on Social Practice.

One outcome of the 2-day conference is that GLOBALG.A.P. is planning to organize the first French Farm Assurer Workshop, which will probably take place in Côte d’Ivoire.

For more information on GLOBALG.A.P. Workshops, go to www.globalgap.org/academy

Learn more about how to host and organize a GLOBALG.A.P. TOUR event and find an upcoming TOUR event in your region at www.globalgap.org/tour