Experts meet to harmonize East African Community (EAC) policies and regulations on agricultural inputs

Reading time 4 min.
Flag of Kenya
Flag of Kenya

Agricultural experts from the EAC Partner States met at the Kibo Palace Hotel in Arusha, Tanzania recently to discuss harmonization of policies, laws, regulations and standards on farm inputs in the region.

The leaders of the delegation were; Dr. Mbette Mshindo Msolla, Assistant Director, Agricultural Inputs in the Ministry of Agriculture Food Security and Cooperative of The United Republic of Tanzania; Mr. Masabarakiza Lucien, Director of Fertilization and Soil Protection, Burundi’s Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock; Ms. Gladys N. Maina, Chief Executive Officer, Pest Control Products Board of Kenya; Dr. D.K.N Semambo, Executive Director, National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Data Bank in Uganda’s Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; and Ms. Murekatete Jeanne, Assistant Director in Charge of Fertilizer, Rwanda Agricultural Development Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources.

The meeting, which was chaired by Dr. Mbette Mshindo Msolla, Assistant Director, Agricultural Inputs in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives of the United Republic of Tanzania, considered farm inputs mainly; veterinary drugs, vaccines, equipment, agrochemicals, seeds, fertilizers, crop protection products, animal and fish seeds, animal and fish feeds.

The meeting noted the urgent need to undertake an inventory of national pesticide laboratories and their status in each Partner State in order to determine their capacities. The meeting also noted the need to establish mechanisms for harmonizing pesticide testing protocols and registration procedures and come up with final draft proposal although substantial work had already been done in this area and registration forms, protocol, labelling, handling, packaging had been harmonised.

The meeting also noted that Rwanda and Burundi need to be brought on board as well as the need to work out modalities for enacting common legislation for the control and regulation of veterinary drugs instituting common procedures in inspection.

Developing mechanisms for control of importation of agricultural chemicals, drugs and vaccines was also an issue that needed to be addressed in the region though substantial work had been done on the labelling requirements and inspection procedures

Agricultural inputs experts identified areas of policies, laws and regulation for harmonization which include among others; veterinary drugs, vaccines and equipments; animal and fish feeds; animal seeds including fish; and plant seeds. Others include; fertilizers; crop and animal protection products and substances; farm implements; agricultural mechanization; and water for agricultural production (crops, animals and fisheries).

Group 1; to work on the animal and fish feeds, animal seeds including fish and veterinary drugs, vaccines and equipment; Group 2 — to work on plant seeds, fertilizers and crop and animal protection products and substances; while Group 3 will be working on farm implements, agricultural mechanization and water for agricultural production (crops, animals and fisheries). Each group identified areas of harmonization, the existing instruments, and harmonization process as well as what has been done so far.

The meeting recognized that the implementation of EAC Common Market was commencing on 1 July 2010, and that the Customs Union was already in full implementation and considering that agriculture was the most intra and extra- EAC tradable, it was absolutely urgent that the work on farm inputs was completed in time.

The meeting noted that the EAC Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security directed the Secretariat to finalize the pending work on the farm inputs which included, biotechnology policy and bio-safety legislation traceability issues, development of standards on Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs), EAC manual for SOPs and inspectors guide for EAC-SPS volume III and SOPs for volume I, development of maximum limits for radioactive materials in food, standards for farm inputs i.e. standards for veterinary drugs and vaccines, fertilizers, seeds, pesticides and animal feeds and completion of EAC- SPS volume II.

The Regional Agricultural Inputs Trade Specialist at the EAC Secretariat, Ms Doreen Isoke emphasized the importance of harmonizing the policies, laws and regulation of farm inputs as stipulated in the Articles 106, 107 and 108 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community in order to facilitate intra-EAC trade on agricultural inputs. She said the overall objective of agricultural production in the EAC is to produce enough quality agricultural produce to match the requirements of the rapidly increasing human population in the region and create surpluses for the local market and export. She however added that “this cannot be achieved unless and until major agricultural inputs are available in required quantities, quality and time”.

For further information please contact:

Richard Owora Othieno

Ag. Head of Department

Corporate Communications and Public Affairs

Phone: +256 718 358664 / +255 784 835021

Source: East African Community (EAC)

Tanzania  Read latest news and features from Tanzania : business, politics, culture, life & style, entertainment and sports
Support Follow Afrik-News on Google News