Building capacity to help Africa trade better

New book highlights how safe trade solutions help the poorest countries


New book highlights how safe trade solutions help the poorest countries

New book highlights how safe trade solutions help the poorest countries
Photo credit: FSIN

Today’s global trade landscape is changing. Higher levels of competition mean consumers worldwide are demanding safer food. Across continents, climate change is adding to the problem of pests and diseases that are threatening animal and plant health, putting agricultural production and the environment at risk. Governments are also raising the bar on safety for food and agricultural imports.

In turn, sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) gaps in many developing countries block exports. For small-scale farmers, producers and traders, meeting international food safety, animal and plant health standards clears the path to the global marketplace.

A new book by the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) features 25 stories showing how good practice in food safety, animal and plant health has helped small-scale farmers and processors in developing countries trade more easily and improve their livelihoods. The book was unveiled at a STDF Policy Committee meeting held at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) on 23 February.

The STDF is a global partnership that supports developing countries in building their capacity to implement international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards as a means to improve their  working practices and increase access to agricultural markets.

The book, “Driving safe trade solutions worldwide”, highlights projects the STDF has implemented since 2004 to assist some of the poorest countries. These include projects aimed at helping women shrimp farmers in Bangladesh, ginger cooperatives in Nepal, cabbage producers in Senegal and flower sector workers in Uganda boost revenues and support their families. Other projects have helped farmers to use lower-risk pesticides on tropical crops across Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia and access new markets.

The 25 stories in the book show how STDF projects and project preparation grants work in practice in food safety, animal and plant health, and cross-cutting SPS areas, with significant results.

Across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean, the STDF has helped to set up partnerships across the public and private sector, connecting government agencies to small businesses. It has championed the latest technical know-how and built up people’s skills across agricultural value chains, mobilizing over US$ 25 million to scale up projects and further the reach of innovative models.

The book showcases that when more people benefit from trade, it not only gives a boost to the economy, it drives up incomes in poor areas, promotes domestic food security, protects the environment, improves public health and empowers women.

Established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the WTO, the STDF is financed by voluntary contributions. The WTO provides the Secretariat and manages the STDF Fund.


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