ABS compliant value chains in South(ern) Africa (ABIOSA)

Activities and Achievements

The project provides technical assistance, financial support and policy dialogues.


To enable greater compliance of SME products for export, a study was conducted to inform a strategy regarding EU cosmetic, personal care and food markets. The EU regulatory requirements for indigenous oils were explained in a feedback session, where findings and recommendations from the study were also presented. The project is currently supporting response to those gaps identified as barriers to entering the EU market.

Sector Development Plans

Sector development plans are being created for key plant species and value chains. As part of the process, a national Marula workshop was held in South Africa in July 2019 to explore the sustainability and establish an information baseline. 


A regional Marula workshop was held in November 2019 in Namibia, with more than 50 delegates from Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe; including harvesters and primary producers, the development sector, government and its implementing agencies, and manufacturers and traders of Marula products. The workshop discussed the need for a coordinated and collaborative approach to the creation of a successful economic sector. It was agreed that the emerging Marula sector must take account of ABS regulations, indigenous knowledge and conservation and sustainable use. It needs to be aligned with national and local priorities and initiatives and requires coordination and consultation with stakeholders. Reliable supply, quality standards and market access were identified by delegates as priority elements for a future sector development plan. 


Three workshops on finance, regulatory compliance and technical business writing were held for 22 SMEs selected for the ABioSA capacity development programme. The workshops aimed to strengthen the companies and prepare them for financing. Training for SMEs in sustainable reporting was conducted in collaboration with the Global Reporting Initiative. 


ABioSA hosted the 10th Biotrade Stakeholder Forum in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQPS). The forum encourages synergies and collaborations between stakeholders. An interactive map was developed of public and private sector support for SMEs across the biotrade value chain. 

Biotrade stakeholder forums

Minutes-1st-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-2018.PDF, ABioSA, Biotrade, Value-chain PDF (409 KB)
Minutes-2nd-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-2018.PDF, ABioSA, Biotrade, Value-chain PDF (307 KB)
Minutes-3rd-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-2019.PDF, ABioSA, Biotrade, Value-chain PDF (387 KB)
Minutes-4th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-2019.PDF, ABioSA, Biotrade, Value-chain PDF (289 KB)
Minutes-5th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-2019.PDF, ABioSA, Biotrade, Value-chain PDF (389 KB)
Minutes-6th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-2019.pdf, ABioSA, Biotrade, Value-chain pdf (192 KB)
Minutes-9th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-2020.PDF, ABioSA, Biotrade, Value-chain PDF (244 KB)
Minutes-10th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-2020.PDF, ABioSA, Biotrade, Value-chain PDF (286 KB)
Minutes-11th-Biotrade-Stakeholder_Meeting-2020.PDF, ABioSA, Biotrade, Value-chain PDF (368 KB)
Presentation-2nd-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-Pioneering-Nature-2018.PDF, ABioSA, Biotrade, Private-sector, Value-chain PDF (2 MB)
Presentation-3rd-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-ABioSA-2019.pdf, ABioSA, Namibia, South Africa pdf (423 KB)
Presentation-3rd-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-ABS-Analysis-2018.pdf, ABioSA, ABS-system, Biotrade, Private-sector, Value-chain pdf (428 KB)
Presentation-3rd-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-3rd-DEFF-BioPANZA-2018.pdf, ABioSA, Biotrade, Private-sector, South Africa, Value-chain pdf (539 KB)
Presentation-3rd-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-IDC-natural-products-fund-2019.pdf, ABioSA, Biotrade, Private-sector, South Africa, Value-chain pdf (658 KB)
Presentation-3rd-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-Unido-Workshop-2019.pdf, ABioSA, Biotrade, Private-sector, South Africa, Value-chain pdf (3 MB)
Presentation-9th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-Stakeholder-network.2020.pdf, Aloe, Baobab, Biotrade, Buchu, Marula, Private-sector, South Africa, Value-chain pdf (638 KB)
Presentation-9th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-Mesopartner-2020.pdf, ABioSA, Private-sector, Value-chain pdf (281 KB)
Presentation-9th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-BioPANZA-integration.pdf, ABioSA, Biotrade, Private-sector, South Africa, Value-chain pdf (373 KB)
Tabel-9th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-Meso-results-KUMU.xlsx, xlsx (37 KB)
Presentation-11th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Meeting-Qobo-Qobo-2020.PDF, ABioSA, Biotrade, Private-sector, Regulations, South Africa PDF (880 KB)
Presentation-11th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Forum-Rewild-your-Skin-2020.PDF, ABioSA, ABS-framework, Africa, Biotrade, Regulations PDF (938 KB)
Presentation-11th-Biotrade-Stakeholder-Lavenderlane-2020.pdf, ABioSA, Biotrade, Private-sector, Regulations, South Africa pdf (673 KB)

Grant funding

Two rounds of grant funding have been established to focus on high-impact value chains based on ABioSA’s 12 target species. The funding aims to assist SMEs to overcome regulatory hurdles and develop new innovative products. Round 1 targeted advanced SMEs and business support organisations. Nine organizations participated including a laboratory and a Zimbabwean SME. The second round focused on six early-stage South African, Zimbabwean and Zambian SMEs which have a product but need help to improve quality, expand the market and develop new products.

Further details