In progress

Supporting implementation of the IPPC ePhyto digital solution

Project will back government initiative to improve phytosanitary trade processes


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

Traders exporting plants or plant products must 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 accompany the shipment or are exchanged by post with trading partners. This makes for a lengthy process, in which any errors take a long time to rectify, and there is a risk of loss, damage, or fraud. 

The Alliance has already gained valuable experience supporting the implementation of this digitised approach in Morocco. 


Alongside Madagascar’s border agencies and local and international agri-food companies, our project is supporting 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 is being 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, Livestock, and Fisheries (la Direction de la Protection des Végétaux du ministère de l’agriculture de l’élevage et de la pêche).  


The use of ePhytos will:  

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

Overall, the project can also help drive food security by preventing shipments of food getting stuck and spoiled at border checkpoints. 


Once the project is complete, the Alliance will measure the time taken for border compliance for agri-food imports and exports using ePhytos to assess our impact on time and cost of trading. We will also look for evidence of wider benefits for society, such as increased opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises. 


We are looking for businesses to get involved in a wide range of activities, including working hand-in hand with the Malagasy Ministry of AgricultureLivestock, and Fisheries to design and pilot the new systems, collecting and sharing data, and communicating on work in progress and results to other businesses. 


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Eston Sakala

Eston Sakala, Managing Director, Evolution Logistics and Solutions, Lusaka
Eston Sakala set up his own clearing and forwarding business in 2016 helping traders to move their goods in and out of Zambia – a profession he has been in for 17 years. In three short years he has grown his business from scratch to employ 18 staff with a customer base spanning Zambia’s key import and export sectors. “My goal now is to build capacity in my business, embrace technology and deliver my service to the level of a DHL,” says Eston. “I’d love to see the day when I can sit in front of my screen and watch trucks being processed by Evolution in real time, every minute, every hour. I want to be the go-to business for quick and correct clearances.”
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