Strengthening phytosanitary controls
This project aimed to strengthen the sanitary and phytosanitary control services in Mali for fruits and vegetables exports, which would contribute ultimately to the diversification of products, better market access and increased incomes for producers and exporters.
Malian fruits and vegetables represent a great potential to boost exports and generate income for many vulnerable livelihoods. There is a need to improve further the agricultural sector in certain areas such as crop and post-harvest techniques, handling, storage and refrigerated transport. Various gaps in terms of SPS compliance are bringing market access challenges - rejections and destructions of the products once exported - especially by EU, which in turn generate significant loss of income for producers and exporters. Mali faces also various institutional challenges such as gaps in inspection and control mechanisms, coordination insufficiency among different institutions, lack of information transparency and many others.
A number of projects have been undertaken in Mali to improve the quality of agricultural production. However, much work is still necessary to address challenges faced in the implementation of SPS measures. Addressing sanitary and phytosanitary gaps can contribute highly to the value addition of Malian agricultural products and unlock export opportunities.
Stakeholders from fruits and vegetables value chains, especially mango, received trainings on different SPS topics such as taxonomy and control of fruit flies; Integrated Production and Pest Management Program (IPPM); risk analysis; pesticide toxicology; and SPS agreement. Good production and processing practices and the application of a traceability system are now internalised by agricultural sector professionals. Furthermore, eighty-three producers, including fifty women, and "locators"/"fixers" (in French "pisteur") were trained on mango harvesting techniques and good hygiene practice (GHP). The "locators"/"fixers" are now able to observe the hygienic measures starting from the harvesting, passing by the collection of orchard mangos and arriving to the packaging stations, in accordance with the hygiene requirements. The trainees contributed to the obtention of the GlobalGap certification for four exporters audited by INTEGRA (Belgium).
Boosted exports of Malian fruits and vegetables
Officers from the Plant Protection Office (OPV) and the National Directorate of Agriculture (DNA) received a series of training on phytosanitary inspection in pesticide toxicology; the implementation of SPS measures; risk monitoring; risk analysis; international regulations regarding inspections; fruit fly contamination and control methods.
The phytosanitary control station in Bamako airport got equipped with the necessary tools, according to the international standards. Thanks to more rigorous pre-shipment controls, the station helped to reduce the risk of rejections of fruits and vegetables to be exported. This aspect also built confidence and trust amongst trading partners. Furthermore, the Central Laboratory was improved in terms of residue analysis capacity.
Malian products are meeting better international market requirement, especially European ones. Building upon other projects focused on mangoes marketing, the project has largely contributed to the increase of mango exports - from 8,517 tons in 2007 to 12,676.6 tons in 2008.
Building knowledge on fruit flies and other pests
An online database on harmful pests of mango and fruits and vegetables has been developed and publicized. Fourteen harmful pests have been identified for mango and other fruits.
Enhanced SPS legal framework
Moving forward, linking different stakeholders along the fruits and vegetables value chains, as well as creating professional associations in related sectors, would pave the way towards better regional and international market access.