Agriculture and Rural Development
The persistence of food crises in developing countries shows that their agricultural sectors need help to grow stronger and evolve. AFD encourages the use of modern farming techniques and the development of new infrastructure, institutions and systems – encouraging better-organized industries, improving coordination between industry participants, and securing land tenure.
April 2013 Jean-Raphaël CHAPONNIÈRE (Asia Center), Dominique PERREAU (D.P. Associates) and Patrick PLANE (Director, CERDI, CNRS, Université d’Auvergne)
Coordination by Rémi GENEVEY (Director, Strategy Unit, AFD)
Document in French
INTERVIEW - « With Protected Geographical Indications (PGI), African farmers can take advantage of the Globalization »
Premiere: three African products - Oku honey and coffee Ziama Macenta, from Cameroon and Penja pepper, from Guinea - are on the verge of being labeled Protected Geographical Indication (PGI).To Jean-Luc Francois, Head of Agricultural Development in AFD, IGP is one more tool to strengthen and modernize the African family farming.
Why support the establishment of Protected Geographical Indications?
Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) can promote and preserve the know-how to develop agricultural products specific to geography, terroir and thus a rural culture .. It is a tool to protect product quality and economy of a specific region.
This is a concept that has been formalized relatively late in the French agriculture history, i.e. after the Second World War.
It became necessary to protect these traditions against globalization where the only sanitary or nutritious quality of a product could lead to a standardization of the consumer. Hence, the consumer loses the taste of this diversity and the producer loses the benefit of the value added by tradition, becoming copied. It is a matter of protection of intellectual property owned by local communities. Thus, we work with the African Intellectual Property Organization (AIPO) in this case.
In addition, PGI gives producers the opportunity to be more involved in processing and marketing their product, either directly through their cooperatives or with partnerships with downstream activities, allowing them to take a bigger share of the added value.
Promote PGI therefore preserves agricultural practices and protects the local economy.
Are there specificities for PGI in developing countries?
You need two ingredients for an IGP: in first, the agricultural product must have clear identity (its shape, its taste, its color, etc.). Then, farmers need to gather to engage in a process of recognition of the IGP.
The IGP in a developing country is never far away from a concept such as fair trade because the IGP exists only if the producers organize themselves to define the IGP, to obtain the recognition by authorities, to contract with buyers, and to promote products - and therefore to gain a better share in the distribution of the added value.
Finally, although based on tradition, the PGI specifications often require from farmers to rethink their practices, to modernize and to engage a sales and marketing policy.
PGI is a great tool for modernization of the familial agriculture. It allows gives access to demanding markets, markets willing to pay more for products with intrinsic quality and associated cultural quality though. The IGP makes globalization beneficial to soils and people that most often suffer from it.
How does AFD support IGPs?
Program for trade capacity building (PRCC), which is financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Economy and Finance, has enabled AFD to launch several IGP support programmes in African and Asian countries.
Projects have focused on the identification of products, on the support for producer groups creation, on the trade promotion and on the establishment of a national regulatory framework for sub-regional recognition, control and protection of the IGP. This particular aspect of AFD action relies on the support of the AIPO.
Regarding the development of the specifications of the name, AFD helps ensure that the product has a clear identity, establishing the characteristics of the product and the criteria for being labeled .
It should also helps ensure that the product can be produced in sufficient volumes to supply a commercial channel.
Then, we help producers and agricultural commodity chain to implement the protected designation.
This tool fits perfectly into the priorities of AFD for agriculture.
There can be no IGP without organizing smallholder farmers action.
The IGP can modernize sustainable family farms that are food crops (rice, milk, etc.) or non-food crops (cocoa, cotton, rubber...). Initially thought for export markets products, it appears increasingly clear that there is a domestic demand for labeled products IGP in African and Asian cities, from middle class consumers who have not lost taste for regional products of their country or who rediscovered it.
In a word, IGP help strengthen African smallholder farmers and make them benefit from the opening of global markets
► See "The first three African IGP at the Paris Salon of Agriculture 2013"