Agricultural fresh products from Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal are often not competitive enough on the European market, despite the country's comparative advantage in terms of proximity to the European market. One of the reasons is the lack of compliance with international quality requirements. These requirements include mandatory, legal product requirements (technical regulations) and voluntary technical norms from official technical committees. At the same time, certification services and conformity assessments are often not offered in country, creating higher costs of obtaining these services from abroad.
The project’s aim is to provide advisory services and ensure that the companies are well-prepared to undergo certification audits. To this end, the needs of agribusinesses and producers with export potential are analysed in terms of training, coaching and advisory services on specific product and process quality standards as well as audits and certifications. Based on this assessment, activities are developed to improve access to knowledge, skills and certification services. This is done by providing capacity development to key actors such as agricultural extension workers along with strengthening market-oriented public and private quality standards services so contribute to a functioning quality infrastructure environment.
The primary target group are agricultural producers, farmer organisations/ cooperatives and agribusinesses in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal who aim to export into international (European) markets and invest in their employees, seasonal workers and supplier network at farm level. The secondary target group are local advisory service providers on quality standards such as agricultural advisors/extension workers.
The activities are structured in three fields of action:
- Improvement of competences of African companies to fulfil international quality requirements,
- Development of functioning institutional structures to implement activities, and
- Support of local QI to design their services according to needs of producing companies in the respective African business locations.