Local appropriation

No substitution of local stakeholders

Investment in local expertise and human resources

Pooling of problems and solutions / Economies of scale

Demand-driven intervention / Cost sharing

Participatory approach

South-South cooperation

Export as factor of modernisation

Structured relationship between local value chain operators

Cross-cutting focus on youth and gender


This provides a simple framework for continuous improvement, focusing on the business case so that adopting good practice not only facilitates market access, but genuinely helps suppliers run more efficient, profitable and resilient businesses. It consists of three central elements:



COLEACP’s strategy and activities for Ethiopia in the framework of the Fit for Market programme are based on information collected via requests for intervention from both public and private sectors, meetings, presentations and with the insights from a national relay.
Since January 2021, COLEACP counts with the support of a focal point in the country, Mr. Mikyas Bekele. The services provided by the national relay will mainly contribute to facilitate relations with the various stakeholders in both public and private sectors, particularly at decision-making level and assist the COLEACP team in ensuring that the activities of the Association’s programmes are consistent with other projects and programmes implemented by other organisations whose objectives, or part of whose objectives, relate to the same field of activity.

Strategy and activities in the country

Based on the current situation of the horticultural sector in Ethiopia, COLEACP support will focus on the following:

  • Inclusive value chains: strengthening links between operators, and specifically supporting exporting companies to implement outgrower schemes, which are still not common in Ethiopia.
  • Sustainable agriculture: preserving and restoring soil fertility by adopting sustainable practices, including irrigation.
  • Support for professional organisations: developing and strengthening their services to members.
  • National sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) issues: support for competent authorities and the private sector regarding phytosanitary crises, compliance with new EU regulations, etc. In the past, Ethiopia has faced phytosanitary problems regarding pests on herbs (leaf miners). Support, if requested, could include developing and implementing a national action plan to reduce the number of interceptions through public–private partnerships.
  • Professionalisation: capacity-building for stakeholders involved in local and regional markets for healthy crop production, through support organisations.


Since March 2020, with the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic, COLEACP has adapted to continue working while integrating domestic and international guidelines. The safety of people, including partners, service providers, and members, is COLEACP’s priority.

Our field activities have been adjusted to comply with the precautionary measures related to Covid-19.

While this does not have a direct impact on the main focus areas of the strategy in Ethiopia, it does involve adaptations to technical support, the increased use of remote communication and meeting tools, and as far as possible the accelerated digitalsation of advisory and training activities.


Export and production companies, professional organisations, private and public service providers. In early 2021, contact was made with competent authorities of Ethiopia, being a request for intervention submitted under the FFM-SPS programme.

Ethiopia is considering the implementation of the R-SAT tool. The Rapid SPS Assessment Tool (R-SAT) has been developed by COLEACP to support competent authorities, in consultation with key public and private sector stakeholder, to assess the current status and functioning of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) systems. The aim is to develop a pathway for the strengthening of national SPS systems and ensure their alignment with international standards and regulations. It is expected that the R-SAT tool process will start still in 2021.


From the launch of Fit for Market in June 2017 until July 2021, COLEACP received 12 requests for intervention from Ethiopia, which led to 10 memoranda of understanding.

The agreements include technical support, on-site and digital group training, training-of-trainers, coaching sessions, etc. COLEACP/Fit For Market activities for the Ethiopian horticultural industry will be implemented either globally (e.g. supporting SPS issues) or individually (e.g. supporting a development project of an export company). The number of activities are linked to the number of individual requests for support received, and comprise:

  • around a dozen companies producing/exporting fruit and vegetables (five requests for support received so far)
  • several service providers (two requests for support received so far)
  • the Ethiopian Horticulture Producer Exporters Association (EHPEA) (request for support received)
  • local structures producing for the local market.


From regular communication with key stakeholders, COLEACP is aware that international development actors are keen to explore opportunities in Ethiopia.

COLEACP/Fit For Market will continue to liaise and, if required, partner with the EU Delegation in Ethiopia to provide information regarding its beneficiaries and activities carried out in the country.

Translate »