The objective of the collaboration between GlobalGAP and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) is to improve the competitiveness of horticultural products from Central Asia to ease access to international markets. This is to be achieved by the development of GlobalGAP certification and consulting services that are affordable for local producers and available across the region.
The “Trade Facilitation in Central Asia” project has been operating in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan since 2017. The program aims at supporting trade-oriented companies in Central Asia to benefit from cost-cutting measures for trade facilitation. It is implemented by GIZ and commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ, Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung).
Facilitating the export of horticultural products is a key priority for the countries of the region. The diversification of exports requires measures to ensure compliance with requirements of new markets, including obligatory regulatory requirements, as well as the voluntary requirements/private standards of leading organizations, such as GlobalGAP.
The joint project includes awareness raising activities – the GlobalGAP Tour Stops - about the benefits of introducing the GlobalGAP Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) Standard in order to improve competitiveness, expand export markets, and ease access to international trade chains. Using the services of the GlobalGAP Academy, 44 experts from Central Asia were trained on the Standard during the GlobalGAP Farm Assurer Workshop, as well as on specific GlobalGAP aspects such as the Quality Management System and on how to become an Internal Inspector. With these capacity building measures future consultants and auditors should be well prepared to accelerate GlobalGAP certification in the region.
In addition, in June and July, the two GlobalGAP experts Kliment Petrov and Edite Strazdina performed pre-audit farm assessment on 7 different pilot farms in Central Asia in order to identify strengths and gaps of local producers with regard to the GlobalGAP IFA Standard. The experts were accompanied by the trained local consultants, who were found to be highly motivated to study the GlobalGAP IFA Standard and its practical implementation on site. And the selected farms were particularly eager to implement good agricultural practices and the requirements of the GlobalGAP IFA Standard. The organization's technical experts are confident that with continuous support, they should already be able to achieve GlobalGAP certification in the next harvest season.