Driving food security

Electronic phytosanitary exchange to boost agri-food exports, including key vanilla crop


This project has simplified plant product imports and exports in Madagascar by replacing paper processes with electronic systems and making trading more secure, efficient, and rapid.

Before the implementation of electronic certificates, traders exporting plants or plant products had to acquire a paper phytosanitary certificate to show that the material is considered free from pests and that it complies with plant health regulations. In Madagascar, as in most countries, these paper certificates accompanied the shipment or were exchanged by post with trading partners. This made for a lengthy process, in which any errors take a long time to rectify, and there is a risk of loss, damage, or fraud.


Alongside the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and local and international agri-food companies, our project supported Madagascar in introducing electronic phytosanitary certificates, or ePhytos, and in joining the “ePhyto Hub”, an initiative led by the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) Secretariat. This electronic hub allows them to electronically exchange ePhytos with trading partners quickly, accurately and at low cost.

This project was implemented in conjunction with Madagascar’s National Trade Facilitation Committee, which comprises members from both the public and private sectors, and the Plant Protection Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (la Direction de la Protection des Végétaux du ministère de l’agriculture et de l’élevage).


The use of ePhytos:

  • means certificates are transferred between parties quickly, accurately and at low cost, reducing the time and cost burden on both traders and border agencies
  • reduces the risk of loss or fraud, helping ensure any threats to plant health through trade are stopped in their tracks
  • paves the way for Madagascar to exchange other types of data with trading partners
  • contributes to the government’s goal to fully digitalise all export and import phytosanitary processes

Overall, the use of ePhytos helps drive food security by preventing shipments of food getting stuck and spoiled at border checkpoints.


The Alliance is measuring the time taken for border compliance for agri-food imports and exports using ePhytos to assess our impact on time and cost of trading.


  • The project was launched in March 2021.
  • The new ePhyto system has been operational since May 2022.
  • All certificates were digitalised by September 2022

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