Geographical Indications

Support to the development of Geographical Indications for sustainable food systems in Africa and elsewhere




Promoting geographical indications as a tool for sustainable rural development 



 A successful Geographical Indication process, with producers empowered and quality linked to origin well defined in the GI specifications, can contribute to preserve local agro-biodiversity, empower local producers, fight rural poverty, prevent the delocalization of production, create jobs and preserve environmental and cultural heritage. In the food sector, a GI process can contribute to provide safe products and more varied diets.


The aim of this project is to support GIs as a tool of development through: 1) support to the preparation of regional or national strategies for the development of sustainable GIs; 2) development of country capacities through training and technical support and 3) awareness raising and knowledge dissemination activities. Following the endorsement, in 2017, of the African Union Continental Strategy for GIs in Africa, this project also focuses on the implementation of the Continental Strategy in Africa, through discussions and coordination with the partners involved and also providing support to GIs pilot projects in African countries.


Through the development of GIs, food systems are more inclusive, thus improving food and nutrition security and rural living conditions in some countries to contribute to SDGs 1, 2, 5, 8 and 12.
The country’s local agro-food systems are more sustainable through the development of well-established geographical indications, including improved producer incomes, the preservation of biodiversity and other local natural resources, the protection and enhancement of traditional traditions, know-how and diets.


Activities under output 1 : Some regional or national strategies for the development of sustainable GIs are formulated and implemented

The FAO’s experience in supporting the African Union (AU) to develop and implement the Continental Strategy for GIs in Africa (2018-2023) has proven the efficiency of this activity to help a group of countries to make progress in the definition of a common approach to resolve common issues with the GI approach. 
FAO will continue to support the implementation of the Continental Strategy for GIs in Africa, in collaboration with AU and all the involved partners: OAPI, ARIPO, EC, WIPO et AFD.

Activities under output 2 : The capacity building is strengthened in countries through training and technical support

The aim is to bring an expertise in a flexible way to answer punctual technical needs through training, studies and technical support. This can cover the following fields : institutional or value chain topics, technical issues or sustainability issues.
For example, in Africa, some needs have been identified in Mozambique, Senegal and Niger. Some training is being delivered in order to strengthen the capacity of the members of the national GIs committees or GIs associations. These training activities, combined with technical support,  are contributions to the implementation of the continental strategy for GIs in Africa. Efforts are being made to seek partnerships with other partners, in order to increase the outreach and impact of capacity development interventions.


This is a partnership between FAO-WIPO-CIRAD started in June 2017. The results were :  application for registration of the Cabrito de Tete was submitted in May 2018. An association for the protection of the Cabrito de Tete was created (APROCATE). A code of practice has been prepared. Training courses were delivered together with support to APROCATE’s members on their missions and tasks. Discussions and negociations were undertaken with the main clients. In 2020, APROCATE’s statutes were officially approved by the government and Cabrito de Tete was registered as a GI on 15 June 2020. More support is still needed for the stakeholders and the association in the organisation of the value chain and marketing.


This project has been prepared since 2019 by the representatives of all the stakeholders and partners involved in the value chain (Agence nationale de Conseil agricole et Rural, Cadre Régional de concertation et de coopération des ruraux, l’Institut sénégalais de recherches agricoles, the Inspection régionale des Eaux et forêts and the bureau d’Etudes Economie, Territoire, Développement, Services). This project is particularly interesting because the Madd sector is an important labor employer, from the picking which is done by young people, through the processing which is done mainly by women in rural areas in artisanal processing units. Furthermore it represents a strong environmental issue as this variety is threatened with extinction due to overly intensive picking and also the forests fires due to droughts but also to human causes. Since 2019 FAO and WIPO supported this project financially and technically. The main results are : the creation of the Association of protection and promotion of the GI Madd de Casamance (APPIGMAC), in November 2019. The code of practice is nearly finalized.  Delimitation the Madd area of production . Feasibility study done for packing centers. More support and investments are required for building and operating the packing centers.


Following the training of the members of the national GI committee which took place in November 2018, a partnership was established between FAO and CIRAD for providing support to the Ministry of agriculture and livestock to develop Gis in Niger. 4 products were already requesting registration as GIs to OAPI :  oignon violet de Galmi, tchoukou du Niger, kilichi du Niger and peau de chèvre rousse de Maradi). Support is now being provided to the Association for the protection and promotion of the oignon violet de Galmi. 

Activities under output 3 :  knowledge is developed and disseminated throught meetings, particularly at international level.

An International Conference on Geographical Indications  titled «  Worlwide perspectives on Geographical Indications : an international conference for researchers, policy makers and practitioners » will take place in Rome FAO in July 2022, jointly organized by FAO and CIRAD ( Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement.) with support of many partners. 
During the last 25 years, the function of GIs have expanded from that of protecting consumers and producer’s interests to underpinning territorial development policies based on cultural heritages including the preservation of biodiversity and environment. This conference will help to wrap up the research outcomes and practical experiences of the last 25 years and bring new ideas , perspectives and inspiration.
The aim of this international conference is to both allow for dedicated discussions on most recent research and about good practices while also sharing views  between the academic world, practitioners network and Policy sphere. 
The Conference will be web streamed for all publics. Video recordings will remain available online after the conference. Scientific and technical papers as well as case studies will be presented during the conference and will be made available publicly in the Conference Proceedings, to be published shortly after the conference.

People. places, products
Project contributing to:





French Ministry of Agriculture
Organisation Africaine de la propriété intellectuelle (OAPI),
African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO
European Commission-DG Agri (EC)
World Intellectual property Organization (WIPO)
Agence française de développement agricole (AFD)
Centre de coopération  internationale pour la recherche agronomique et le   développement  (CIRAD)


Farmers, processors, tradesmen, small and medium enterprises, practitioners supporting rural development, rural communities, national authorities in charge of intellectual property or agriculture. 


Related links

Continental strategy for the development of GIs in Africa

The Pan-African Geographical Indications information hub


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