Funding applications are open until July 19 to assist developing Pacific Island countries reach the standards required for international markets through the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF).The facility helps applicants toward reaching the export standards on food safety, animal and plant health requirements of the trading partners. It also assists with meeting the international sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements and improving their chances of gaining market access and trading with other countries.
So far the Pacific region has yet to take full advantage of the fund and Pacific Trade & Invest (PT&I) Geneva Trade Promotions Advisor Robyn Ekstrom wants more Pacific Island countries to apply.
Trade from food and agricultural products is key for regions like the Pacific to alleviate poverty and achieve economic growth. However, the challenge for many Pacific Island countries is meeting the health requirements on food safety, animal and plant health requirements by trading partners. The STDF fund therefore provides support and funding for the development and implementation of projects that promotes compliance with international standards and SPS requirements.
This year STDF is helping Papua New Guinea coffee and cocoa farmers to adopt Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) through a project with the Department of Agriculture and Livestock. Ultimately this will help them to meet the SPS requirements and lead to increased trade.
There are two funding opportunities available under the STDF.
The first is the Project Preparation Grant (PPGs) of up to US$50,000. This fund can be used to help organisations identify their needs and develop technically sound and sustainable project proposals. It can also help with the application of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) capacity evaluation and prioritisation rules, preparation of feasibility studies and also funding proposals to STDF or other donors.
The second is the Project Grant of up to US$ 1 million to assist applicants to promote good practice through technical co-operation. This includes projects that show innovative and replicable approaches and collaborative projects for organisations working together focused on the interface between human, animal and plant health and trade.
Interested applicants can get more information from the STDF website at www.standardsfacility.org. and are also recommended to read the STDF Guideline Note – to develop the project concept and apply before the closing date. The application forms can be found at www.standardsfacility.org/application-forms
Applicants can also check out Eligible project types and the Eligible organisations to apply for the STDF fund. Eligible organisations include public sector entities (including regional or international bodies) with responsibility for SPS measures or policy either within their own rights or with the private sector cooperation. Private-public partnership projects are also encouraged.
There is also online access to a Virtual Library of Resources including a wide range of documents and needs assessments, reports and evaluations. Applicants can also sign up for the e-newsletter at www.standardsfacility.org or browse resources and explore project ideas at www.standardsfacility.org/library.
The Standards and Trade Development Facility is a global partnership and trust fund established by five organisations – the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The STDF has been supporting sustainable economic growth, poverty reduction, food security and environmental protection for over 10 years.
For more information please email Robyn Ekstrom, (PT&I) Geneva Trade Promotions Advisor at email@example.com or to get in contact directly with the STDF Secretariat please go to STDFSecretariat@wto.org