APPLICATION FOR SUPPORT

The first step to design an action plan and benefit from programme support is to send to COLEACP an application for support by filling in the questionnaire which best suits the type of organisation you represent.

COLEACP designs and manages development programmes in the agriculture and food sector (mainly in Africa, Carribean and Pacific States – ACP), funded by donors, mainly the European Union and the Organisation of ACP States (OACPS). COLEACP also contributes to programmes implemented or co-financed by other donors, including the French Development Agency (AFD), the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), ENABEL (the Belgian Development Agency), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

All programmes aim at increasing the contribution of agri-food value chains to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular in terms of poverty alleviation, food security and nutrition and environmental protection.

COLEACP has developed an operational system of technical assistance and vocational training which is mobilised in the framework of these programmes. Action plans designed with all types of actors in the agri-food sector (focusing on fruit and vegetable value chains) cover a wide range of topics, including sustainable production and trade; plant health; food safety; food production and processing; social accountability and empowerment; environmental management; business management and development; and training methodologies.

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To apply for support, please choose from the following partner-beneficiaries categories the one that best fits your structure/organisation.

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If you don’t recognise your entity in these categories (such as, for example, research institutions or standard setting bodies), please contact support@coleacp.org and send us a short description of your activities.

More information on the partner-beneficiaries categories

As “partner beneficiaries”, the following categories of organisations based in member countries of the Organisation of ACP States (OACPS) are identified for the applications for support:

  1. Horticultural1 companies which include horticultural MSMEs (including farmer groups/cooperatives) producing and/or packing and/or processing and/or selling horticultural produce to domestic, regional and/or international markets.
  2. Service providers which include consultants (such as, for example, trainers and experts) and consultancy companies; and certification bodies active in the horticultural sector.
  3. Training institutions which include agricultural technical and vocational training institutions and universities;
  4. Business membership organisations which include professional organisations with members from the horticultural sector, for example exporters associations, national horticulture stakeholder associations,…
  5. Smallholder support structures which include NGOs, public or private extension services, local support programmes for smallholders and farmer organisations/associations with a representative function, active in horticultural and/or plant-based agrifood value chains2
  6. Competent authorities for horticultural and/or plant-based agrifood value chains on sanitary and phytosanitary matterds at national/regional level, including official controls, who develop and implement SPS policies, regulations and, more generally, national/regional SPS strategies and national/regional SPS Committees and/or public-private stakeholder platforms
  7. Research organisations which include any public or private entity with the primary goal to conduct scientific research in horticulture including (but not limited to) universities, research networks, associations, platforms, and consortia

If you don’t recognise your entity in these categories (such as, for example, research institutions or standard setting bodies), please contact support@coleacp.org and send us a short description of your activities.

1 “Horticulture” regroups the value chains corresponding to the following Harmonised System codes: vegetables (chapter 07), fruit (Chapter 08), spices (Chapter 09 from 0904 to 0910), oils (chapter 15, 1509 and 1510 for olive oil, 1513 coconut oil), processed fruit & vegetables (Chapter 20), and aromatic herbs (classified as vegetables, or spices or plants). It should be noted that the scope of the programme support can cover indirectly plant-based agri-food value chains.

2Given the similar nature of issues in terms of SPS compliance and sustainability faced by other plant-based agri-food value chains (e.g. Flowers and Plants value chains) compared to Fruit and Vegetable value chains, and, in some cases, given the interrelations between operators from different value chains (e.g. public sector inspectors, MSMEs, BMOs, support services to smallholders), the programme foresees the possibility to “indirectly” support other plant-based agrifood value chains through intermediary bodies such as competent authorities, business membership organisations (BMOs), or smallhoder support structures in member countries of the OACPS. Indirectly refers mainly to the production and dissemination of information, technical and training materials developed for the horticultural sector and which are relevant to other plant-based agri-food value chains.

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FAQ for Applications for Support
What are the eligibility criteria to benefit from programmes’ support managed by COLEACP?

The eligibility criteria depend on the scope of the programmes managed by COLEACP. Please refer to the programmes’ section of the website to explore the scope of current active programmes and those which might by of direct relevance to your organisation.
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How to access direct support from programmes managed by COLEACP?
  1. Send through the COLEACP website an application for support to COLEACP
  2. Build a development project with COLEACP
  3. Implement the action plan and commit to agreed roles and responsibilities as defined in the action plan.

There are three types of development projects:

(i) Independent learning project ;
(ii) Standard support project ;
(iii) Tailor-made project.

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What type of activities will I benefit from through an “independent learning project”?

The spirit of the independent learning project is to ensure the applicant is in a better position to continuously improve its operations, and thereby increasingly contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by :

  1. Accessing COLEACP’s available resources via the online platforms (including the E-Learning with self-study courses);
  2. Performing autonomously a sustainability or SPS self-assessment1 (on a voluntary basis)
  3. Receiving regular updates about COLEACP’s activities and news from the EU-ACP agri-food sector;
  4. Connecting with a like-minded community of professionals for peer-to-peer learning, opportunities for promotional activities, and more ;
  5. Contributing to defining priorities in terms of COLEACP’s future technical and policy developments through the sharing of individual challenges and/or opportunities ;

The applicant will benefit from the guidance and advice of the COLEACP team in charge of support activities in its country to fully leverage the learning and improvement opportunities from the independent learning project, in line with its context, objectives and the mandate of the programme under which the project is built.

In addition, thanks to COLEACP’s existing partnerships, opportunities to provide complementary support to applicant could be identified.
Finally, the applicant will be prioritised for a potential upgrade of his/her independent learning project into a standard support or tailor-made project, according to its evolution, overall and specific context, demonstrated improvements, and available resources under the programme mobilised for his/her project.

1For sustainability self-assessments (SAS), only applicable to horticultural MSMEs, farmer groups and cooperatives, and smallholders linked to formal markets.
For SPS self-assessments (R-SAT), only applicable for competent authorities

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What type of activities will I benefit from through a “standard support project”?

The spirit of the standard support project is to ensure the applicant is in a better position to continuously improve its operations, and thereby increasingly contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by :

  1. Accessing COLEACP’s available resources via the online platforms (including the E-Learning with self-study courses);
  2. Performing a sustainability or SPS self-assessment1 (only if applicable);
  3. Participating in COLEACP’s collective training courses (on-site or digital) ;
  4. Benefiting from individual (on-site or digital) coaching to implement newly acquired knowledge, skills and competencies (if justified2) ;
  5. Receiving regular updates about COLEACP’s activities and news from the EU-ACP agri-food sector;
  6. Connecting with a like-minded community of professionals for peer-to-peer learning, opportunities for promotional activities, and more ;
  7. Contributing to defining priorities in terms of COLEACP’s future technical and policy developments through the sharing of individual challenges and/or opportunities ;

The applicant will benefit from the guidance and advice of the COLEACP team in charge of support activities in its country to fully leverage the learning and improvement opportunities from the standard support project, in line with its context, objectives and the mandate of the programme under which the project is built.

In addition, thanks to COLEACP’s existing partnerships, opportunities to provide complementary support to the applicant could be identified.
Finally, the applicant will be prioritised for a potential upgrade of his/her standard support project into a tailor-made project, according to its evolution, overall and specific context, demonstrated improvements, and available resources under the programme mobilised for his/her project.

1 For sustainability self-assessments (SAS), only applicable for horticultural MSMEs, farmer groups and cooperatives, and smallholders linked to formal markets.
For SPS self-assessments (R-SAT), only applicable for competent authorities
2 Individual coaching will be suggested and offered to the applicant depending on its overall capacity to leverage newly acquired knowledge, skills and competencies

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What type of activities will I benefit from through an “tailor-made project”?

The spirit of the tailor-made project is to ensure the applicant is in a better position to continuously improve its operations, and thereby increasingly contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), by :

  1. Accessing COLEACP’s available resources via the online platforms (including the E-Learning with self-study courses) ;
  2. Performing a sustainability or SPS self-assessment1 (only if applicable);
  3. Defining a customised action plan with COLEACP, including specific support activities designed for the applicant;
  4. Participating in COLEACP’s collective training courses (on-site or digital);
  5. Benefiting from customised support activities, mainly through trainings and technical assistance activities;
  6. Receiving regular updates about COLEACP’s activities and news from the EU-ACP agri-food sector ;
  7. Connecting with a like-minded community of professionals for peer-to-peer learning, opportunities for promotional activities, and more;
  8. Contributing to defining priorities in terms of COLEACP’s future technical and policy developments through the sharing of individual challenges and/or opportunities;

The applicant will benefit from the guidance and advice of the COLEACP team in charge of support activities in its country to fully leverage the learning and improvement opportunities from the tailor-made project, in line with its context, objectives and the mandate of the programme under which the project is built.
Finally, thanks to COLEACP’s existing partnerships, opportunities to provide complementary support to the applicant could be identified.

1 For sustainability self-assessments (SAS), only applicable for horticultural MSMEs, farmer groups and cooperatives, and smallholders linked to formal markets.
For SPS self-assessments (R-SAT), only applicable for competent authorities

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Is there any other way to benefit from support, other than by submitting an application for support and building a development project?

Yes.

Programme support outputs are usually two-fold: activities directly performed through development projects with organisations (mainly through the Technical Assistance and Training departments, which require an initial application for support) and access to online resources (through the Market Insights, Regulations and Standards, Research and Innovation Brokerage, Networks & Alliances and Access to Finance departments) produced in the framework of programmes and aimed to benefit as many organisations as possible.

  1. Stay informed about online events, trade fairs, technical publications, COLEACP and its programmes by registering to our newsletter. Click here.
  2. And/or access COLEACP’s available resources via the online platforms Click here (including E-Learning, Click here)

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What are the main criteria which are used to analyse your application and size the development project?

There are three types of development projects:

(iv) Independent learning project ;
(v) Standard support project ;
(vi) Tailor-made project.

The type (e.g. scope) of development project proposed to the Applicant will depend on:

  • Measurable development impact: support given to an organisation has to contribute in a cost-effective way to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals. This requires transparency as regards to objectives and results, along with appropriate monitoring, evaluation and results measurement arrangements.
  • Additionality: without the envisaged support, the organisation would not undertake the action or investment, or would not do so on the same scale, at the same time, in the same location or to the same standard. The supported action should not crowd out the private sector or replace other private financing.
  • Neutrality of interventions : the support given should not distort the market and should be awarded through an open, transparent and fair system. It should be temporary in nature with a clearly defined exit strategy. Support justified by market failures and consequent risks should not have the effect of discouraging regulatory reform efforts addressing the causes of market failure.
  • Shared interest and co-financing: partnerships through development projects have to be based on cost-effectiveness, shared interest and mutual accountability for results. The risks, costs and rewards of a joint project have to be shared fairly.
  • The demonstration effect created for the sector : a supported action should aim to have a clear demonstration effect that catalyses market development by crowding in other sector actors for the replication and scaling-up of development results
  • Adherence to social, environmental and fiscal standards: organisations, especially private sector operators, receiving support have to demonstrate that their operations are compliant with environmental, social and fiscal standards, including respect for human and indigenous rights, decent work, good corporate governance and sector-specific norms.

The results of the analysis according to the above-mentioned criteria will be combined to additional ones such as: the match between the challenges to be overcome/the opportunities to be leveraged by the Applicant and the overall and specific objectives of the programme under which this application for support is analysed; the overall and specific context of the Applicant, its community and/or its sector; the track-record of past support received by the Applicant through programmes managed by COLEACP, and/or current support provided through other organisations; the anticipated capacity of the Applicant to absorb, fully sustain and leverage the support received ; the available financial under the programme considered for support at the time of receiving the application for support.
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What are the main principles framing COLEACP’s interventions in development projects through programmes?

 

  • Principle of participatory approach and cost-sharing (mutual commitment): activities directly implemented with partner-beneficiaries will be done in the framework of a development project, including an action plan and an estimated budget with contributions from COLEACP on the one hand (through the programme under which the action plan is built) and the applicant on the other. In this way, costs will be shared. For example, the applicant’s contribution could consist of infrastructure improvements (such as packhouse infrastructure, cold chain, storage of phytosanitary products), the purchase of equipment, or human resources, etc.
  • Principle of “demand-driven” activities: the applicant must submit an application for support through one of the forms provided for this purpose, depending on the type of organisation making the request.
  • COLEACP works primarily through existing value chains, and access to formal markets is a crucial element. Through an existing value chain, stakeholders are in a better position to co-fund and maintain improvements achieved thanks to support provided. For instance, compliance to regulations and standards is costly and, for long-term sustainability of the support, resources must also come directly from the stakeholders.
  • Local appropriation of the strategy and activities to be implemented to meet market expectations;
  • No substitution of local stakeholders in their respective roles and responsibilities;
  • Investment in local expertise and human resources through in-depth and long-term capacity building; Support is provided over time (1-5 years): The impact of COLEACP’s support is the result not of a single activity, but of targeted support over time (1-5 years) aimed at making the organisation more resilient through behavioural and mindset change and overall restructuring.
  • Leverage the technical, digital and pedagogical solutions developed over the past 20 years for the entire horticultural industry and the adaptation of these solutions to the specific national context and to other agri-food value chains;
  • Areas excluded from support are: operating costs (such as human resources, certification if already supported, laboratory analysis), equipment and infrastructure.

 

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Can a partner beneficiary receive COLEACP funds directly through programmes?

No.

It is agreed with current donors that funds cannot be transferred directly to applicants through budget foreseen under programmes (except for reimbursements of ex ante agreed expenses incurred by the partner beneficiary) . Expertise (or supplies) contracted for support activities are paid directly by COLEACP. These services (or supplies) must have been obtained in strict compliance with the COLEACP’s procurement procedures.
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Do I need to become a COLEACP member to benefit from programme support managed by COLEACP?

No.

Nonetheless, we strongly encourage you to join the association to make your voice heard and contribute to building a stronger organisation capable of working more efficiently in partnership with others to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, especially the following ones: (1) No poverty, (2) Zero hunger, (4) Quality education, (5) Gender equality, (8) Decent work and economic growth, (9) Industry, innovation and infrastructure, (10) Reduced inequalities, (12) Responsible consumption and production, (13) Climate action, (15) Life on land, (17) Partnerships for the goals.
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Can I fill in a new application for support despite the fact that my organisation is already supported by COLEACP through one of its programmes?

If your organisation is already supported by one of COLEACP’s programmes and you still wish to submit a new application for support, we advise you to get in touch with your contact person within the technical assistance team.

In general, priority will be given to finalising your current development project before starting a new one. However, it is possible that your project may need to be adapted to your new needs, or closed prematurely in order to develop an action plan under the new considered programme.

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