EU provides more than 3 million Euros to boost Burundi exports
The Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) is a four-year programme funded from the European Union Regional Indicative Programme for EAC under the 11th European Development Fund. It is a regional trade development initiative that provides support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the East African Community (EAC).
MARKUP aims to increase exports of agribusiness through the promotion of regional integration and access to the European market.
A total of 3.68 million euros is foreseen to support the Burundian tea, coffee and horticultural products sectors. These funds are aimed at improving the capacities for exports to the East African Community countries and to the countries of the European Union.
MARKUP-Burundi concentrates on improving export of coffee, tea and horticultural products to the regional market as well as to the European Union. This requires strengthening the Burundian quality infrastructure, increasing the quality of sanitary and phytosanitary conditions and improving the testing services of laboratories such as the Burundi Bureau of Standards (BBN), the National Centre of Food Technology (CNTA), the Burundi Agricultural Research Institute (ISABU) and the Coffee Regulation Authority (ARFIC).
The non-conformity of Burundian tea, coffee and horticultural products with international standards is a major obstacle for exporting these products and making use of the opportunities offered by external markets. It greatly reduces the competitiveness of Burundi’s products in international markets. MARKUP will help in this regard by setting up a strong national quality infrastructure which will provide normative, inspection, analysis, certification and standardisation services for Burundi enterprises.
The laboratory services of the relevant institutions will be improved. They will receive new equipment that enables them to provide the coffee, tea and horticultural products sector with the required tests and analyses, and the laboratory staff will undergo training and learn how to put the equipment to good use.
MARKUP will also provide training courses for the staff of key public and private institutions and organisations on how to maintain quality and how to identify the gaps and shortcomings in the value chains of these products to assure good management of the production of these products.
The EU requires that all imported food items are in line with its food security standards. This is to protect the consumer from products that might be hazardous to human health. Traceability of products along the value chain, strict adherence to the principles of hygiene and hygiene control are the key requirements of European food legislation. It is based on the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points approach, or HACCP, which ensures food safety. Exporters are required to prove that they comply with the HACCP procedures by submitting certificates of origin. In addition, a sanitary and phytosanitary certificate is also required to go with any plant products, whether they are primary produce or processed products. The products also undergo a verification procedure to test for pesticides, and have to be clearly labelled with all relevant consumer information.