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EU market access for East African Agro-based SMEs

This project explores access to EU markets for East African small-medium enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture sector and the effect of EU sustainability standards. It continues our efforts under a previous ECF grant to SEI for the Green Trade Network project to identify challenges and opportunities for the region’s trade relationship with the EU as it moves towards more environmentally stringent requirements for market access.

Active project


market access

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

Stakeholder discussions at a workshop in Kigali, Rwanda, delivered under SEI’s previous ECF grant, indicated that research and analysis on African exports and EU market access would complement existing efforts focused on sustainable production in the agricultural SME sector.

The main aim of this project is to inform EAC and EU officials about the climate and other sustainability implications of practices by export-oriented agricultural SMEs in East Africa and identify areas for cooperation to ensure environmental standards and sustainability commitments are met. Specific objectives include:

  1. Assessment of climate-smart management practices for coffee and avocado production
  2. Value chain analyses of coffee and avocado-based agro-ecological food systems
  3. Market research on EU market access requirements and niche development
  4. Develop recommendations to inform sustainable trade cooperation between EU and EAC partner countries.

Expected Results

  1. Fact sheet for SMEs on climate-smart avocado and coffee best practices
  2. Evidence of the challenges and opportunities to upgrade the avocado and coffee value chains
  3. Fact sheet for SMEs on EU market access requirements and niche areas
  4. Recommendations on EU-EAC sustainable trade cooperation

Partners and Funders

  1. East African Science And Technology Commission (EASTECO)

The project is funded by the European Climate Foundation.

Project team

Philip Osano
Philip Osano

Centre Director

SEI Africa

Anderson Kehbila

Programme Leader

SEI Africa

Lutta Alphayo
Alphayo Lutta

Research Fellow

SEI Africa

Lawrence Nzuve

Communications Coordinator


SEI Africa

Timothy Suljada high res
Timothy Suljada

Head of Division: Resources, Rights and Development

SEI Headquarters

Cynthia Sitati


Topics and subtopics
Economy : Bioeconomy, Business / Health : Food and agriculture
Related centres
SEI Africa

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