Strengthening of the phytosanitary system in Guinea
The purpose of the project is to build phytosanitary capacity in Guinea, on the basis of the recommendations arising from the Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) carried out by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), and the consultations held with national stakeholders. The project aims specifically to improve: the legislative and regulatory framework for phytosanitary control; the technical and operational capacity of the National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO) to implement a risk based phytosanitary inspection and certification system; and the capacity of operators in priority sectors to apply good practices. It will also result in enhanced intergovernmental and public private cooperation on phytosanitary matters.
All these efforts will help improve the compliance and competitiveness of Guinean agricultural products in order to promote access to international markets and to contribute to food security and poverty reduction in the country.
The agricultural sector plays an important role in the economic and rural development of Guinea. However, it faces constraints that diminish the interest of national and international operators. The main constraints include a poor mastery of production techniques and, particularly, the presence of phytosanitary issues that have a strong impact on production and exports. Despite having climate conditions and land which lend themselves to agricultural production, and which allow for a wide range of crops to be grown, Guinea's post harvest losses from key sectors are very high (estimated at between 60 and 85% for mangos, for example).
The PCE carried out by the IPPC in Guinea in 2017 drew attention to several gaps in the phytosanitary system, particularly institutional, infrastructural, operational and communication deficiencies. The conclusions of the PCE revealed an urgent need to implement a phytosanitary control system in conformity with international standards and, particularly, with a view to increasing exports and maintaining access to key markets. The conditions for access to the markets of partner countries, in particular those of the European Union, are becoming increasingly stringent with regard to phytosanitary matters.
This project, which was developed in 2018 through a Project Preparation Grant (PPG) provided by the STDF (PPG 498), will involve structuring activities, in view of the main challenges identified during the PCE conducted by the IPPC and in conjunction with past programmes (such as the Project to Develop the Mango Sector in Guinea (PRODEFIMA)) and national and regional initiatives (such as those of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)). The project will specifically address the phytosanitary regulatory and operational system. It will improve monitoring, initially targeting two strategic sectors (the mango and potato sectors) due to their socio economic importance and potential for market access. It will also address the need to improve the collaboration and partnerships between the NPPO and other public and private stakeholders in the SPS system.
In general, it is envisaged that Guinea will have greater capacity to meet its commitments under the IPPC and will gain credibility with its global trading partners.
An updated regulatory framework for the phytosanitary system
One of the recommendations arising from the PCE carried out in Guinea was to update the legislative and regulatory framework. The improvement of the phytosanitary governance system will strengthen the capacity of the NPPO services to perform their plant protection and phytosanitary control duties, in order to ensure that plants and plant products that are imported, exported or in transit within the country are in conformity with international standards.
Legislative and regulatory texts in line with the IPPC and the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures will be drafted and submitted for validation by the competent authorities. These activities will serve to raise awareness in the public and private sectors of the missions and responsibilities of the NPPO. The improvement of phytosanitary governance will also increase the allocations of human and financial resources to the NPPO by the Guinean Government.
Improved technical and operational procedures of the phytosanitary system and the NPPO
The project will provide technical assistance for the performance of a risk analysis on at least one of the priority crops targeted. It will also update the list of phytosanitary quarantine bodies in Guinea. A general monitoring plan applied to a target crop will also be developed and validated. The NPPO will be provided with an efficient system for monitoring and processing official notifications of interceptions due to quarantine pests and other sanitary and phytosanitary non conformities. A quality management system will be set up within the NPPO.
Procedural manuals and technical data sheets for phytosanitary inspection and control in Guinea will be developed. Technical assistance for risk assessment will strengthen the phytosanitary control and certification system and reduce weaknesses in the NPPO in this regard. These activities will also serve to implement ECOWAS' action plan to prevent, monitor and control plant pests and diseases, with a view to developing regional exports.
Enhanced capacity of public and private stakeholders to implement phytosanitary controls
The development and implementation of a sustained programme to build the capacity of various stakeholders constitute a major part of the project. The activities will take into account the strengthening of surveillance at entry points (land borders, ports and airports). The project will also provide inspectors with training on phytosanitary control for imports and exports, including sampling procedures.
The project also recognizes that the vertical development of the SPS capacities of, for example, private operators and structures specialized in agricultural supervision and advice in the value chain will have an impact on the conformity and competitiveness of agricultural products. In this regard, around 1,400 producers will receive training on good agricultural, phytosanitary, hygiene and traceability practices to ensure better control in production chains.
Strengthened communication and partnership dynamics between stakeholders
Partnerships, collaboration and cooperation among the various stakeholders (the NPPO, other public and para public services, professional organizations, private operators and consumer associations) are essential in an SPS system. The Phytosanitary Capacity Evaluation (PCE) carried out under the IPPC and the Project Preparation Grant (PPG) established by the STDF have demonstrated the need to improve collaboration, the system for the communication of information, and the partnership between the NPPO and the other public and private stakeholders in the SPS system in Guinea.
The project therefore aims to carry out activities to strengthen the communication and partnership dynamics between the various stakeholders in the national control system through the implementation of consultation platforms. The organization of bi annual or annual information meetings for different categories of stakeholders, including inspection services, customs, consumer associations and research agencies, will facilitate public private and inter ministerial dialogue in Guinea.