Project completed in 2011
The goal of the project is to strengthen the competitiveness of vegetable farmers in Ethiopia and Sudan engaged in the production and export of fresh vegetables through enhancing their capacity to manage the quality and to meet the regulatory (both public and private) requirements of the markets, to develop an integrated supply chain and to improve their marketing tools. The specific objectives were: (a) to enhance productive capacity of vegetables to produce required volumes of export quality produce; (b) to improve post-harvest handling skills and infrastructure to maintain the quality through to the market place; (c) to develop marketing and trading systems to create substantive and transparent business linkages. The project introduces opportunities for the development of the export programme, enhancement of best practices and infrastructure and market and business improvement in both countries through a selection of target crops (e.g. green beans, okra) and target markets (Europe, Middle East and regional) common for both countries. The project managed to upgrade existing supply chains in both countries onto a level that enables trade of export quality vegetables by smallholder farmers on a pilot scale. Participating farmers were able to increase their productivity, while at the same time meeting a higher product quality standard. The project activities are simple but appear to be appropriate for the establishment of a smallholder horticulture supply chain that meets the required GlobalGAP standards. The impact of the project is impressive. It generated considerable interest in both countries since the pilot actrivities convincingly demonstrated that exports of vegetables by smallholders is not only possible but also profitable and viable.