The project provides technical assistance, financial support both on sector and SMME level. Additionally, the project provides dialogue platform opportunities for stakeholder engagement to support the development and provision of knowledge products, tools and processes as a vehicle to improve the knowledge flows and brokering of information between national, regional and international stakeholders within the biotrade sector based on accurate and analysed data and information.
Additional knowledge products in the form of case studies, guides, training material etc. shall be developed building on the existing repository.
STUDY ON COMPLIANCE TO EU REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS
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 have been created for the following plant species and value chains: marula, buchu, baobab, honeybush, aloe ferox and a cluster of essential oils being Lippia javanica, cape chamomile and helichrysum.
A call for grant funding application has been issued for both private and public sector organisations in order to support the implementation of the above sector plans.
REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON EMERGING MARULA SECTOR
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.
WORKSHOPS ON FINANCE, COMPLIANCE AND BUSINESS WRITING
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.
BIOTRADE STAKEHOLDER FORUM
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.
In phase one, 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.
Additional calls will be issued during phase two in the second part of 2022.