The “Support to Farmers Organizations of Africa – North Africa Program (SFOAP)” was a five year program (2013-2017) and is supported by the European Union (EU), IFAD, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the French Agency for Development (AFD).
The main objective of SFOAP was to improve the livelihoods and food security of small African producers. The program aimed to further strengthen the institutional capacity of FOs and gave them a greater voice in the agricultural programs and policies. In addition, the main phase supported economic development services to facilitate the integration of smallholders in different sectors. This type of support focused on a limited number of cases to assess the results and impacts and to systematically share the positive experiences by generating and sharing knowledge.
In North Africa, the SFOAP covered the period of 2013-2017 and related to the following countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Mauritania and Libya. It consisted of two separate elements but yet complementary:
- Part A: Direct institutional support to UMAGRI (the Maghreb Farmers’ Union);
- Part B: institutional, technical and economic support to some national and local FOs and their networking via the national umbrella structures.
Through the Grant Agreement Number: IR-1409-FERT / / COFIN-SFO-006-FERT signed on May 9th, 2013 by IFAD, FERT had entrusted the implementation of Part B, in close collaboration with the UMAGRI.
NSCE (North South Consultants Exchange) was the national facilitator, leading the process of the SFOAP under FERT’s direction in Egypt. UPEHC (Union of Producers and Exporters of Horticultural Crops) was the local body that provided assistance in leading the process.
The objective of phase 1 of SFOAP was to identify the scope of work; organization partners, supply chain or pilot areas and the needs for more productive and competitive agricultural activities in the identified scope in Egypt.
The objective of the program was to provide institutional, technical and economic support to certain national and local Farmers Organizations (FOs) and networking these FOs with national umbrella organizations.
The purpose of the Programme was as follows: “Farmers’ organizations (FO) evolved into stable, performing, accountable organizations and became able to effectively represent their members and advice farmers in their farming enterprises”.
The purpose was mainly to follow the approach of focusing pilot innovative activities with a potential for leverage and scaling-up. The provided services were; capacity building, marketing and exporting training, good practices and alignment with national laws, all of which eventually served to improve value chain management along with the ultimate objective of enhancing export.