Fit For Market Plus (FFM+) launch in Malawi

In the framework of the Fit for Market Plus (FFM+) programme, a mission is taking place in Malawi with the participation of four COLEAD team members from the Technical Assistance and Training Units. The mission is an opportunity to meet the FFM+ applicants and share the COLEAD/FFM+ offer and global benefits.

Since the launch of FFM+ (in July 2022) a total of 65 applications for support have been received from Malawi as of early March 2023. This is substantially more than were received by previous programmes.

FFM+ applications were received from: 47 horticultural companies (producers, processors), 12 smallholder support structures, 5 service providers and 1 professional association.

This positive change in the number of applications is likely due to the increasing visibility of COLEAD in the Southern Africa region. Applications could also have been encouraged by the involvement of the Embassy of Malawi in Brussels, which shared information about FFM+. The embassy communicated with key stakeholders in the country, particularly the Malawi Investment & Trade Centre, which played an important role in disseminating the information at a national level.

The mission included the organization of a local FFM+ launch/informative event, which welcomed over 50 organisations that had applied to the FFM+ programme, along with representatives of the public sector and key stakeholders operating in the fruits and vegetables sector in Malawi.

The FFM+ event took place at Kumbali Country Lodge Hotel in Lilongwe and was followed by a networking lunch and an afternoon of one-on-one meetings. These gatherings allowed   further discussion of the applications for support and contributed to the drafting of development projects.

FFM+ has been designed and will be implemented as a continuation of the FFM programmes (FFM/FFM-SPS) and the results of the COLEACP/COLEAD COVID-19 Action Plan implemented from March 2020. This 5-year, €25 million programme is funded by the European Union and the OACPS. FFM+ support is designed to contribute to the transition of ACP agriculture to a more sustainable food and agricultural system, integrating the priority areas of action identified by the Farm to Fork strategy of the EU Green Deal.

This activity is supported by the Fit For Market Plus (FFM+) programme, implemented by COLEAD within the Framework of Development Cooperation between the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) and the European Union.