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The checklist for the GLOBALG.A.P. Integrated Farm Assurance (IFA) standard v5.2 has now been translated into Swahili, marking a particularly large milestone in GLOBALG.A.P. developments in East Africa. The translation was funded by the European Union via the Market Access Upgrade Programme implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC). The GLOBALG.A.P. IFA standard is now available in over 30 different languages.

Making the standard accessible

Until now, many smallholders in Tanzania (and to a lesser extent Kenya and Uganda) have faced a huge hurdle in getting IFA certification since they do not have a sufficient level of English to consult the IFA documents. Now that smallholders can read the technical requirements of the standard in their mother tongue, they will no longer have to rely on a second party (such as agronomists or consultants) to interpret the standard. The translation gives agency to those who need it most.

And there is “no better time to have had serious thoughts about supporting our smallholder producers in the Eastern African region,” says Jennifer Mbuvi, GLOBALG.A.P. Key Account Manager for the Eastern Africa region. “With the increase in demand for safe foods and sustainable production systems generated by the increased demand by markets both local and export, the GLOBALG.A.P. IFA standards need to be understood and implemented by farmers.”

Maintaining integrity throughout expansion

Now that there is an official translation of the IFA v5.2 checklist, there is also less room for misinterpretation or false translation of the standard. Belinda Meena from Africado’s training department says that this will help foster more trust among trainees.

Consultants and trainers who deliver trainings in Swahili will also save time by not needing to translate and interpret content for their participants. In return, the participants will enjoy more effective interaction with the standard documents in their first language.

A successful partnership

The Swahili translation was published in June 2020 in collaboration (ITC) under MARKUP initiative

The European Union (EU) - East African Community (EAC) Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) is a regional trade development initiative, which aims to address both the supply side and market access constraints of selected key export-oriented sectors.

MARKUP aims to increase exports of agribusiness and horticultural products and promote regional integration and access to the European market by addressing specific challenges that small and medium enterprises, trade and investment support institutions and policy-makers face in accessing regional and EU export markets.

Funded by the EU, the programme is implemented by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and other national partners.

Road to the future

GLOBALG.A.P.’s Technical Key Account Manager, Mahinda Wahome, sees several advantages of the translation: “The translated document enables smallholders to design their own implementation schedules, as well as conduct self-assessments. They can even apply it for themselves, without incurring an expense of hiring an external person to help them read and understand the standard requirements.”

He predicts that the translation will attract more farmers in East Africa to ask for IFA certification in the future.

You can find the Swahili document – and all other translations – in the GLOBALG.A.P. Document Center.