FAO market access training for Ethiopia

At the request of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and the Ministry of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) organised a capacity development programme on market access in October.

The five-day hybrid training event was organised by the FAO Subregional Office for Eastern Africa (FAO-SFE), FAO Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture. Contributors included representatives of the World Trade Organization, DG-SANTE of the European Commission, and national and international experts, as well as EIAR, the National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO), and FAO-SFE.

Fatouma Seid, FAO Representative in Ethiopia, noted that intra-Africa trade constitutes 25% of the continent’s global trade volume. With the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), there will be an increased focus on the need to boost intra-African trade. This, in turn, will spur the spread of animal and plant pests and diseases, calling for sound SPS measures.

Chagema Kedera, NExT Kenya Programme Coordinator, contributed a presentation on “Good practices in agricultural market access: COLEACP support to meet SPS challenges in ACP countries”, covering capacity development support through the Fit For Market SPS programme, the use of good practice guides in risk management, and opportunities for programme support to assess SPS management.

The FAO market access training aimed to provide stakeholders with a good orientation in agricultural market access, with information on requirements for assessing the pest risks associated with formal trade systems. It offered regional and continental perspectives on trade-related issues to inform the criteria for identifying Ethiopia’s capacity gaps. These criteria will be used to identify and agree possible interventions to support the country’s endeavours to access various markets for its agricultural products.

The training sessions focused on:

  • Defining the capacity for pest risk analysis and how the results are used to support market access
  • Requirements for collaboration between the NPPO, industry and other government representatives for risk-based decisions and actions
  • Gathering information and compiling a dossier to prepare market access submissions to trading partners
  • Designing a framework for stakeholder consultation on market access requirements, and how to manage the technical research
  • Identifying contemporary demands on target value chains with the aim of removing constraints to market access
  • Identifying arrangements for periodic system reviews – governance, operational processes (public and private), skills and competencies, communication and stakeholder relationships
  • Agreeing an approach to institutional mentoring to develop capacity in pest risk analysis.

The programme took a multi-sectoral team approach to building the capacity of the national agencies responsible for market access for agricultural products. Following this training, the team of state and non-state experts will continue to work with the NPPO and other agencies to guide future actions needed to support market access initiatives in Ethiopia.

The Fit For Market SPS programme is implemented by COLEACP within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union. The NExT Kenya (New Export Trade) programme is established in collaboration with the EU Delegation in Nairobi and Kenyan stakeholders.