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Hub and CABI partner to train stakeholders on plant health risk assessment

Published on June 08, 2017

From June 6- 8, the Hub partnered with the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) to conduct a technical training program on Plant Health Risk Assessment in Nairobi, Kenya. Competent authorities responsible for the three sanitary and phyto sanitary (SPS) areas of plant health, animal health and food safety participated, as well as experts from the public and private sector. Participants learned how to practically apply risk analysis methods with the aim of facilitating safe intra-regional and international trade. The program covered risk assessment methods and tools (qualitative and quantitative); information sources and documentation of assessment; approaches to risk management; implementation arrangements for risk assessment; risk communication; application of risk analysis in risk based approaches, which facilitate trade; risk assessment as the basis for negotiations on SPS measures.

As a result of the training, participants part of a database of risk analysis experts in the East Africa Community.

Participants remarked on the benefits of their new knowledge.

“I teach phytosanitary standards, and SPS regulations for MSc Crop Protection.  I have learnt a lot in the current Plant Health Risk Analysis training, including steps in pest risk analysis (PRA), application of PRA procedures and how to carry out comprehensive PRA. I will apply these in teaching procedures for PRA and designing students’ practical exercises on how to carry out PRA,” said Prof Muthomi, Lecturer at the Crop Protection Department, University Nairobi, Kenya.

“My interest in plant health started while implementing a STDF project that aimed to reduce the interception on Uganda rose for the EU market. I further participated in Australia- Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership Project on biosecurity risk analysis. My skills and capacity have greatly  improved and my role coordinating pest reporting and record keeping between growers and NPPO has will be greatly enhanced,” said Esther Nekambi, Program officer from the Flower Exporters Association Uganda.

Wanjiru Phiona from the Unga Farmcare, Kenya - “I have come to appreciate the PRA process and its importance. I now understand genesis of the import conditions to be met during the importation of the commodities e.g maize, soya and other grains we deal with. I would request the government bodies to always engage the private sector in this PRA process. This will greatly enhance our understanding when sourcing for commodities during importation,” said Wanjiru Phiona from Unga Farmcare, Kenya.

“Before I came to the training, I was not aware of existence of reference materials for pest risk analysis. I have come to that PRA are always conducted and management options for these stated. The training is an eye opener for me .I will now  be able to approach KEPHIS and suppliers in cases where the plant health quality and standards are not met. I am now informed to investigate at what point these standards were not met and initiate constructive communication and negotiation with exporting country,” said Paul Ombok, Quality manager at United Millers in Kenya

The Hub is supporting CABI to conduct risk assessment training workshops covering plant health, animal health and food safety at the EAC partner-state level in an effort to implement the EAC SPS Protocol, an initiative that will facilitate safe intra-regional and international trade.