EAC partner States urged to work together with stakeholders to address high incidence of pests and diseases in the region

East African Community Secretariat, Arusha, Tanzania, 18th September, 2019: The EAC Deputy Secretary General in-charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, has urged EAC Partner States to work closely with the private sector and farmers associations to curb the high incidence of pests and diseases in the region.
Hon. Bazivamo underscored the fundamental linkages between agriculture, trade and agro-industry and stressed the need to strengthen these sectors.
Hon. Bazivamo made the remarks during a regional validation workshop on Pest Risk Analysis (PRAs) for maize, beans and rice held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The DSG disclosed that the PRA tool would be very useful for the regulatory plant health authorities in the Partner States in identifying appropriate phytosanitary measures necessary to protect plant resources against new or emerging pests of plants or plant products, adding that it will contribute to enhanced coordination among regulatory agencies and reduce trade barriers of phytosanitary nature.
He further pointed out that unnecessary delays and rejections of agricultural commodities at the ports of entry will be minimized. PRAs developed will also expand trade facilitation opportunities beyond the region in the context of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The Chairperson of the workshop, Ms. Ingabire Jeanne Priscille, the Crop Protection Programme Manager, Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board, said that the harmonized PRAs for maize, rice and beans will facilitate trade within the Community in accordance with provisions of Article 4 of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Protocol on plan health matters.
Ms. Esther Muchiri, the Coordinator of African Phytosanitary Information Committee (EAPIC) highlighted the progress made and achievements registered in the development and operationalization of PRAs for maize, beans and rice. The East Africa Phytosanitary Information Committee (EAPIC), was formed by the National Plant Protection Organizations (NPPOs) from EAC Partner States to spearhead a harmonized approach and strengthen regional cooperation in pest risk analysis in the EAC.
Dr. Isaac Macharia, the General Manager, Phytosanitary Services at the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), informed the participants that work on PRA has been motivated and informed by World Trade Oorganization SPS Agreement provisions and science-based principles whose main focus is to facilitate trade while ensuring protection of human, animal, plant health and food safety.
PRA is conducted to establish if an organism is a pest, the likelihood of the entry and establishment, spread and potential economic, environmental and social impacts. PRA also proposes the measures to mitigate the impacts

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