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Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Program: Independent review

Summary of publication

This independent evaluation assessed PHAMA achievements and lessons learned, and provided suggestions for improvement.

The overall goal of the Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access (PHAMA) Program is to open greater market opportunities and increase exports of high value primary products for primary producers from Pacific island countries and territories, thereby contributing to increased economic growth and improved rural livelihoods in these predominantly agricultural-based small country economies. PHAMA has four objectives:

  1. establish a clear country led process through national private public mechanisms for identifying and prioritising Market Access submissions
  2. strengthen national capacity to implement Market Access requirements of import countries including quarantine and food safety
  3. undertake research and development including feasibility studies, pest surveys and application of food standards to promote market access
  4. strengthen the capability of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community's Biosecurity Trade Services team (BATS) to provide Pacific Countries with updated market access information and general assistance.

Key findings

The evaluation found that:

  • PHAMA had achieved significant market access results during a relatively short implementation period.
  • the program was relevant for a range of stakeholders, including DFAT, SPC, Pacific countries as well as other donors including the EU and New Zealand. Its relevance was in its contribution towards delivering the strategic commitments and priorities of stakeholders in the region, as well as its contribution to supporting, complementing and amplifying the success and impact of other programs such as the MDF, IACT, the EU's Economic Governance Program and the Enhanced Integrated Framework. PHAMA also provided focus and direction to other programs, for example, market feasibility assessments which were providing clear and valuable direction to PARDI in terms of directing its research priorities around supply chain development.
  • PHAMA was effective in implementing a sustained focus on regulatory aspects of biosecurity, quarantine and R&D related MA for high- value fresh and processed primary products. PHAMA used a decentralised, evidence-based and industry-driven approach to identifying MA priorities was key to its effectiveness.
  • PHAMA had also successfully established national private-public mechanisms (`Market Access Working Groups') in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. The national mechanisms were widely acknowledged as being an effective model to strengthen connections between growers/exporters and MA regulatory bodies and to facilitate evidence-based negotiation between government and industry to identify export priorities for primary products.
  • the program could make further improvements to capacity management, investments around sustainability and a stronger articulation of results and results management through a clearer theory of change.

Full publication

Last Updated: 27 February 2014
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