||The National Indicative Programme (NIP) document outlines the support of the EU to Suriname for the period 2014-2020.
The documents is structured as follows:
1. THE OVERALL LINES FOR THE EU RESPONSE
1.1. Strategic objectives of the EU's relationship with Suriname
1.2. Choice of sectors
2. FINANCIAL OVERVIEW (INDICATIVE AMOUNTS)
3. EU SUPPORT PER SECTOR
4. MEASURES IN FAVOUR OF CIVIL SOCIETY
6. SUPPORT MEASURES (INDICATIVE AMOUNT OF EUR 800 000)
- Attachment 1: Country at a glance
- Attachment 2: Donor Matrix with indicative amounts per sector 2014-2020
- Attachment 3: Sector intervention framework
- Attachment 4: Indicative timetable for commitments
EU relations and cooperation with Suriname are carried out both on bilateral and regional bases, the latter within the framework of the on-going EU-CELAC and EU-CARIFORUM dialogues. Suriname is party to the "Cotonou Agreement", the partnership agreement between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Union.
The EU-Suriname cooperation strategy for the period 2008-2013 (10й1 European Development Fund, EDF) focused on the transport sector. Other focal areas include micro projects, the rice sector, the banana sector (Special Framework of Assistance), the private sector, environmental management, good governance and democracy.
The EU continues to be an active partner in supporting regional integration and cooperation, based on its own experience. At the regional level, in October 2008 the Caribbean signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries and the EU. Guyana is a signatory to the EPA and ratified the agreement on 19 May 2012.
The CARIFORUM-EU EPA builds a trade partnership for increased competitiveness, economic growth and development and participation in the world trading system. The EU is firmly committed to implementing its obligations stemming from the EPA and to assist Guyana to implement its obligations."
Suriname and the EU have a long-standing trade relationship, and the EU is the primary destination for Suriname's exports, receiving almost 25% of exports. After the USA, the EU is the main origin of imports. The main exported products are aluminum, gold, oil, and agricultural products such as rice, fruits and vegetables, shrimp and fish.
In November 2012, the Member States of the EU and the Caribbean adopted the new Joint Caribbean-European Union Partnership Strategy. This Strategy will enhance Caribbean- European Union relations and broaden engagement by adding a political pillar to the traditional cooperation relationship based on development and trade. The strategy focuses on Regional Integration, Haiti Reconstruction, Climate Change and Natural Disasters, Crime and Security, and Joint Action in Multilateral Fora.
Resilience building is an overarching goal as outlined in the European Commission's Communication on Resilience1. Resilience strategies should contribute to different policies, in particular Food Security, Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR). In this context, the EU has consistently supported prevention and preparedness for crises in the most vulnerable countries and identified the need to integrate DRR and Adaptation to Climate Change, notably into both development cooperation and humanitarian response.
1 COM(2012)586 final and SWD(2013)227 final
The first Political Dialogue under the Art. 8 of the EU-ACP Cotonou Agreement took place in Suriname in May 2012. The second round took place in April 2013, and a third round is due to take place in March 2014.
Choice of sectors
The choice of sector is derived from its priority for the Surinamese government, its priority for the EU in its development agenda, its link to past EU interventions (in bananas) in the country, its strong potential in terms of inclusive growth and its importance in terms of cross cutting issues such as climate change.
The Government of Suriname's priorities include diversifying the Surinamese economy which is currently heavily dependent on mining and other extractive industries, and to increase agricultural sector production while adapting to climate change. Suriname has significant potential in agricultural production, however, several climate change challenges must be addressed which include water management, excessive sun irradiation of production, introducing new varieties which better adapt to changing conditions, while requiring less chemical inputs and pest control and protecting biodiversity and key ecosystems.
The choice of sectors complements EU interventions through thematic budget lines (governance, human rights) as well as interventions on the regional level (regional integration, climate change and security). Past EU interventions focused on; infrastructure projects including the coastal East - West corridor; the Paramaribo deep water harbor; the Banana support program; the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programme; and fostering business climate and civil society organizations. Lessons learned from past cooperation have been taken into account during the programming phase. Furthermore, several Water Facility and Caribbean Investment Facility (CIF) support actions on water management and energy in Suriname's rural areas. The experience in the banana sector shows that agriculture has the potential to increase revenue while creating inclusive growth. Currently, banana exports represent approximately 60% of Paramaribo harbor goods and the coastal corridor has decreased its transport costs. This transport link and facilities can be used for other agricultural sub-sectors.
Agriculture is one of the strategic priorities of the Government of Suriname. The "National Development Plan 2012-2016 (Ontwikkelingsplan), Suriname in Transition" identifies 6 main policy areas which are outlined in task-oriented action programs and which focus on 15 main core themes, agriculture being one of them. The government sfcjfément 2010-2015, "Cross Road, Together to Better Times" called för the preparation of an agricultural sector policy document and the preparation of sub-sectoral and agricultural sector white papers. In 2011, the Ministry of Agriculture presented its policy document 2010-2015 (BeleidsNota). It will remain without doubt a strategic priority for the country, beyond 2016. :
In collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Suriname developed a series of white papers which form the basis of policy direction and implementation. These policy papers include the following topics: rice, bananas, fisheries, agribusiness in horticulture, livestock, agricultural health and food safety, aquaculture and sustainable agriculture in the interior.
Agriculture is also in line with the Agenda for Change. In Suriname, interventions in the sector of Agriculture are expected to achieve meaningful impact, even with a decreased allocation. Besides, proposed interventions shall produce multiplier effect through effective linkages and synergies with relevant actions envisaged within the programs under the Bananas Accompanying Measures and regional programs on Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures, as well as fisheries. The signed EPA will allow for an increase in the agricultural exchanges with EU private actors and the Caribbean tourism-based island economies.
Both consultations with civil society and the Ministry of Regional Development, representing the Local Authorities, confirmed the importance of agriculture, in view of balancing the economic model which is heavily dependent on the extractive industry, as well as in view of poverty- alleviating effects and environmental considerations. The Surinamese Business Forum representatives welcomed the initiative as a way to improve competitiveness in a high potential sector while promoting small and medium enterprises.
Suriname has well established trade links with the Netherlands. In the agricultural field these are dominated by banana exports. Building up these links for an enlarged agri-export portfolio is an opportunity, especially targeting in an initial phase the Surinamese diaspora market segment. The inter-Caribbean markets are another opportunity to be seized, with strong synergy potential with several markets which are currently undergoing regional initiatives. Several initiatives implemented by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), and the establishment of the Caribbean Agricultural & Food Safety Agency (CAPSA, based in Suriname) have been funded by the ACP intra-ACP and regional program for the Caribbean. The recently-commenced Regional IICA implemented Programs on Agriculture Policy Program and the Sanitary Phytosanitary Program (SPP) have strong synergy potential. Challenges include high costs of logistics, irregular and unreliable transportation within the Caribbean market, nontariff barriers and burdensome administrative requirements for exports.
Market entry for fresh products also requires compliance with basic food safety. Some of the challenges in the area of food safety are the lack of a specific health and food safety legislation, a shortage of qualified staff, inadequate monitoring systems for pests and diseases, the absence of adequate facilities, and limited consumer awareness about food safety issues. The EU intervention will address the lack of adequate management of pesticides, including best practices and rationalization of their use while improving the organic production sector. These activities have the potential to have a positive impact on the national environment while preserving valuable water resources in the coastland.
The Government has undertaken efforts to strengthen entrepreneurship, value chains, and innovation opportunities in potential high growth sectors such as agribusiness. The Government encourages product diversification and penetration of new export markets. The Government is in the process of engaging in a development partnership with the private sector on agriculture. While traditional crops such as bananas are dominated by one large state company, which is in the process of privatisation, the area of horticulture is largely dominated by small farmers. This intervention will try strongly involving the private sector at various steps of the value chain. The state owned agricultural bank provides concessional loans for farmers, while private banks could be involved with a sound business environment for investments in the sector. Currently, the system is undergoing reform to ease conditions particularly for small farmers.
Suriname has invested in the development of the Port of Paramaribo, the largest port in the area, to become a regional cargo hub. With assistance from the EU, France, and China, port facilities have been upgraded, and the road corridors along the northern coast are being broadened and asphalted to accommodate heavy trucks travelling to neighboring countries, an important condition for facilitated agro trade. Experiences from EU-funded projects such as the Banana program and the support to the Suriname Business Forum can be built upon for the intervention on agriculture. Additionally, aspects of the mangroves project for adapting shore zones to climate changes in Guyana can, considering the local needs, be easily replicated in Suriname with positive effects for the agriculture and aquaculture sectors. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) proposal to the Caribbean Investment Facility (CIF) on energy, which includes funds from the EDF, Agence Française de Development, (AfD) and IDB, aims to promote renewable energy sources and grid connections to several rural areas. Those areas have the potential to become sources of fresh vegetables and fruits, while more affordable energy access can improve sector productivity. Ensuring synergies and complementarity to successful existing global programs supported by the EU such as EDES (Strengthening Food Safety Systems through SPS measures),PIP (Programme in Pesticides) and BTSF (Better Training for Safer Food) will be crucial. Concerning the latter, specific training courses are planned in the Caribbean region on animal health, animal welfare, plant health, pesticides and food safety for which Suriname authorities are invited to participate.
The economy is dominated by the extractive industry and exports of minerals such as bauxite, oil and gold. The agricultural sector and fisheries contribute a relatively small share of gross domestic product, averaging at around 5-7 % annually. Much of this contribution comes from rice and banana production as well as shrimp and fish exports. A bigger diversification into high value horticulture products is fully in line with government priorities.
In addition, improving productivity in agriculture per land unit, through fresh vegetables and fruits production relying on new technologies, is in line with REDD.+ initiatives. It can promote sustainable agriculture activities in the coastal corridors, in the Paramaribo peri-urban area and certain areas in the hinterland, decreasing shifting cultivations in the hinterland while decreasing deforestation and pressure on rainforests. .
While Suriname puts food security"as one of its priorities, according to international recognized indicators like the Global Hunger Index, Suriname is not currently affected by serious food insecurity. Since year 2000, rates of undernourishment in the population, underweight and mortality rate in children under five years have steadily decreased. The aggregate of these three indicators, the Global Hunger Index has positively progressed from a value of 11.1, in 2000, to 6.7 in 2013. According to this index, the current status of hunger level in Suriname is moderate, values range from 5 to 10. The action will ensure this trend continues improving the national production of staple food while reducing agriculture food imports.