African agriculture stakeholders have been inviting to promote sustainable agricultural practices that respect of the social environment by signing the PPP4PPP declaration issued by Coleacp. The program will enable them to take advantages of trainings in order to better meet market requirements.
The Europe -Africa – Caribbean – Pacific Liaison Committee (Coleacp) launched the “Sustainability support program” at Fruit Logistica, a trade fair that brought together thousands of producers and exporters of fruits and vegetables from all over the world from 5th to 7th February in Berlin, Germany.
It aimed at encouraging agricultural producers and exporters from Africa to sign the Private Public Partnership for People Planet and Profit (PPP4PPP) declaration which highlights their commitment to the new program. European importers of fruits and vegetables from Africa are also concerned by this issue.
Launched during the last European Development Days in Brussels in November 2013, the declaration is based on the “Agenda for Change”, the new strategy for development created by the European Commissionner Andris Pielbags and his team. It aims at promoting the principles of corporate social responsibility in the farming sector, according to Emmanuel Bourcelet, the Head of Information and Communication at Coleacp.
Interesting agricultural and management practices
« By signing the declaration, agricultural entrepreneurs, farmers’ organizations, producers and governments are committed to carrying their activities in respect of certain social values such as the minimum salary, the children’s rights etc. », he explained.
The signatories will have the opportunity to join a network that advocates for sustainable agricultural practices through the new program. «A broad selection of training tools, an e-learning platform, and over one thousand trained local experts are ready to support African-Caribbean-Pacific companies who demonstrate their commitment to good business, social and environmental practices by signing the declaration, added Emmanuel. Through the new program, the different stakeholders are encouraged to work together in order to support efforts to use alternative solutions to traditional pesticides, and more generally to promote sustainable works techniques which can improve and increase agricultural activities yields”.
With the PPP4PPP declaration, Coleacp hopes that small and medium enterprises will take advantage of the opportunities presented by the new European commission strategy « Agenda for Change ».
Hundreds of signatories
« Over two hundred organizations representing 1.5 million small farmers, NGOs, universities , producers and exporters from Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP ) and European union (EU) importers have already signed the PPP4PPP declaration », said the Coleacp Communication Officer. He also invites other organisations to join the initiative.
President of a Senegalese farmers organisation known as “Coopérative fédérative des acteurs de l’horticulture du Sénégal”, Cheikh Ngane does not regret to have signed the declaration : « We hope to have greater access to the European market, where we face many requirements as far as certification and the respect of the maximum residue limits of pesticides are concerned etc …These count among other trade barriers that we hope to overcome through trainings that we will benefit thanks to the Coleacp local experts », he said, wishing a more equitable trade between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
« The European Union must support the ACP countries to move towards an agriculture which is part of sustainable development. To gain access to the European market, we invest daily to improve the quality of our products with no impact on our revenues. It is not fair. Today, quality is simply seen as a condition to access the European market. This trend must be reversed », protested Cheikh Ngane who also calls the European Union to take this into account.
“This program comes at the right time to consolidate the revival of the Senegalese horticulture”
Macoumba Diouf, national director of horticulture at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural facilities of Senegal, welcomed the PPP4PPP declaration, which reinforces the revival of the sector in his country.
Why did your country Senegal sign the PPP4PPP declaration?
The PPP4PPP initiative came on time when we were engaged in reviving horticulture in our country through that sector strategic development plan for the period 2014-2017. This cannot be achieved without the participation of the private sector (small / medium enterprises and producer organisations). The public sector which guarantees the government political vision should accompany the producers. This requires a public-private partnership, which is been taking into consideration by the PPP4PPP statement. That is why we believe that Coleacp is a strong partner that could help us to fulfill the commitments we took far before the publication of the PPP4PPP declaration. We appreciate the Coleacp initiative which reinforces us in the vision we had at the Ministry of Agriculture of Senegal.
What do you expect from this Coleacp new program?
Senegal has clear and precise objectives concerning production activities as part of our horticulture development strategic plan for the period 2014-2017. For example, in 2017, we intend to raise the onion’s production from 250 000 tones to 305 000 and tomato from 60,000 tones to 200,000 tones. Irish potatoes production should be increased to 40 thousand tones. In order to achieve these goals we therefore must increase the competitiveness of agriculture entrepreneurs and farmer’s organizations to enable them to be more competent.
These results can only be achieved through a series of projects aiming to organize the sector and to help the stakeholders to be more professional at all levels, from the production sites right to the markets. We seek the Coleacp support in this direction and guarantee that the projects that will be submitted to them come from this strategic plan. In fact, we are not only looking forward to increase our production, but also to come out with better quality products which comply with the European Union norms. We look forward to strengthening the capacity of our farmers in this direction. We hope that this will increase our exports to the European market and even in other countries of West Africa.
Find the PPP4PPP Declaration here : http://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Pji53bVVt9Fzn0g7l55heqxzssalCxhMiLpjYuIPgdQ/viewform