On 29 April 2022, GLOBALG.A.P. marked the successful completion of the first phase of a collaborative project, supportedby the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in a closing event in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The project was designed to increase awareness of GLOBALG.A.P. certification, with the overall aim of opening new export markets and promoting the products of Turkmen fruit and vegetable producers in the international arena. Key highlights of the event included a certificate award ceremony for six new Registered Trainers in Turkmenistan, as well as the announcement of two new export facilitation initiatives (a contest to cofinance GLOBALG.A.P. certification and the Trade Promotion Service Providers initiative) launched as part ofUSAID’s Trade Central Asia activity. 

Creating a platform for success 

The collaborative project was initiated by USAID’s Competitiveness, Trade and Jobs activity in Turkmenistan back in 2021. From September to November 2021,GLOBALG.A.P. and its country partner the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre (LLKC) delivered a series of training courses for local farm consultants on the principles of good agricultural practices, including aspects such as plant protection, fertilizer use, and tillage techniques. A refresher workshop, ending in a final exam, was also held for the Registered Trainers in the country. 

As part of a 3-month project, three Turkmen producers volunteered to take part in an online mentoring programto comply with the GLOBALG.A.P. certification requirements. This included one apple producer, one tomato producer, and one mixed fruit and nut producer. Webinars were also held to facilitate the establishment of certification bodies in Turkmenistan. 

Collaboration set to continue  

The next phase of the collaborative project was therefore discussed further, with plans now underway to establish a national technical working group in the country to develop anational interpretation guideline, as well as encourage capable producersto pursue full GLOBALG.A.P. certification.In addition to the reregistration of the Registered Trainers in January 2022, GLOBALG.A.P. is delighted aboutthe progress achieved during the project.

Exploring the added value of certification 

The eventitself hostedparticipants from various fields, includingrepresentatives of government departments, local business communities, public organizations, international missions, and the media.Keynote speakers included USAID’s Country Representative to Turkmenistan, Nino Nadiradze, Head of the Agribusiness and Fishery Department of the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan, Shamurad Kherremov, and USAID’s Trade Central Asia activityTurkmenistan Country Director, Rustam Bekmuradov. They covered a range of topics,fromdevelopment potential andknowledge transfer tothe transition of Turkmen producers from local wholesalers to global exporters.Additionally, Trade Associate of USAID Trade Central Asia activity, Azat Malikgulyyev, held a presentation during which he briefly described the major achievements of this collaborative project and benefits of the availability of new Registered Trainers in Turkmenistan for local fruit and vegetable producers in their pursuit of GLOBALG.A.P. certification. 

In a recorded video address GLOBALG.A.P. representative, Technical Key Account Manager for Central Asia, Latvia, and Russia, Edite Strazdina, congratulated the first Registered Trainers in Turkmenistan and outlined the benefits of GLOBALG.A.P. certification for Turkmen producers.

Supporting long-term transformation 

Rising consumer demands and retailer requirements mean responsible farming standards for producers and supply chain stakeholders are constantly evolving. Producersmust ensure that their products are grown in a safe and sustainable way that considers both their environmental impact as well as the health, safety, and welfare of workers and animals. 

The event confirmed that demonstrating compliance with these elements is a key condition for entering the global market. To ensure that the project’s work continues to develop going forward, the eventincludedthe launch of two key initiatives.  

Rustam Bekmuradov, Turkmenistan Country Director of USAID’s Trade Central Asia activity, announced a contest aimed at supporting three producers in the agribusiness sector by cofinancing the GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) certification costs.  

USAID’s Trade Central Asia activity is accepting applications until the end of May 2022 from companies in Turkmenistan that are engaged in the production of fruit and vegetables and striving to enter high-value international markets. While the contest will conclude with three selected producers receiving financial support for their certification, all companies that submit an application will receive free access to a training course on good agricultural practices during the summer of 2022 in order to raise awareness of GLOBALG.A.P.’s requirements. 

The event also marked the launch o fa new USAIDTrade Promotion Service Providers (TPSP) initiative through whichproducers can access qualified consultants to aid the promotion of their products for export. A representative of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Turkmenistan delivered a presentation on the support available for producers through their Advice to Small Businesses program.  

GLOBALG.A.P. highly values the partnership with USAID and the opportunity to promote responsible farming and support capacity building programs in the Central Asian region.