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Finding opportunities for niche commodities from developing countries in health food market

This project, in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), aims to explore how Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) can better harness their biodiversity and traditional knowledge about healthy foods or nutraceuticals to create jobs, expand exports, and achieve inclusive growth. In particular, the project will study the potential of selected LLDCs as suppliers of health-enhancing foods or individual ingredients and identify the policy measures needed to expand their exports in this sector. Furthermore, it intends to assist in mapping new and dynamic products with potential markets in the European Union and other regions. This includes potential markets identification as well as connecting local producers’ associations with importers searching for ingredients, so that producers of health foods in LLDCs and LDCs gain effective market access.

The results of the country-case studies will be validated and discussed in national workshops. The findings from the workshops, along with the study of the demand for health foods or nutraceuticals in advanced markets will be consolidated in a policy-research publication and disseminated in an interregional workshop bringing together policymakers and practitioners from LLDCs. The project will also contribute to enhancing the regulatory and institutional capacities of beneficiary countries to meet the demands of the markets in importing countries. A further project component will address the policies and measures that need to be taken to attract impact investors to the sector.

Current status

The implementation of the project started in 2019 with the development of the first draft of a comprehensive study entitled “Potential and Constraints for Developing Countries’ Exports of Health Foods and Nutraceuticals: Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and Nepal". This global study will form the basis for six national country studies to be launched in 2020. In addition, UNCTAD and CFC plan to hold a regional workshop to disseminate the findings and provide for an exchange of views among LLDCs on the potential of the health food sector and the measures needed to harness it.


Project overview CFC-2019-14-0001FT
Project type: Fast Track Organization: UNCTAD
Commodity: Other stimulant crops CFC Financing: USD 120,000
Country:   Cofinanciers:  
Form of finance: Grant Target Impact indicators: NA
SDGs Impacted