The Hub has been supporting technical capacity building programs for consistent implementation of science-based sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures in the East African Community (EAC) to facilitate intra-regional trade among partner states as well as international trade. As part of the continued work in facilitating increased trade in the EAC, the Hub is conducting three technical training programs in risk analysis for regulators in Plant Health, Animal Health, and Food Safety on May 21 – 23 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Participants have appreciated risk assessment in plant health, animal health and food safety and the statuses in the country. They have agreed to be champions of change towards the building of risk assessment capacity, including personal commitments to take specific actions. Some of the participants’ remarks on the benefits of the training programs in risk analysis are as follows:
“The training workshops are very useful. Training topics are very relevant to our daily duties and the content is well presented. Delivery of the course content in plant health risk analysis is superb. The participants have opportunities to ask questions for clarification. The trainer also gives good responses and provides further information where it is requested. Tanzania will benefit more from such trainings as they help cover the knowledge gaps in the system,” said Jubilant J. Mwangi, Principal Agricultural Officer - Ministry of Agriculture.
The technical experts from the government ministries and institutions responsible for SPS issues ensure protection of human safety as well as animal and plant health against risks that may accompany imported animal, plant or food products. The inspectors also ensure exports follow importing countries’ requirements. However, inadequacy of skills and technical capacity is one of the major impediments for the public agencies to effectively deliver on their mandate.
“The Pest Risk Analysis (PRA) training is very useful for my daily activities at the port. Having a wide knowledge on PRA, as an Agricultural Inspector, I will be able to prevent and control the introduction of a new pests and protect our crop industry as a whole,” said Lilian Henry Muyaga, Agricultural Inspector - Dar es Salaam Port.
“I look forward to new exposure on hazard identification, risk assessment, risk mitigation and risk communication on imports and exports among countries”, said Mr Richard Ngowi, a veterinary officer from the Kagera region.
“I can now understand how to identify hazards in trade of animals and animal products”, said Mr. Kagoma Safan from Longido.
“This training is very important because it will upgrade our knowledge which makes it easier to tackle the problem of new pest invasions worldwide. The training has helped us to share our knowledge and to come up with solutions and also to recognize and understand the usefulness of the kits, lab equipment and other materials during inspections”,” said Kisamo Samji, Principal Agricultural Field Officer.
The SPS risk analysis training workshops are part of a series of technical training programs that will be delivered in Tanzania by the Hub in collaboration with the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI). Subsequent training workshops in June/July 2019 will cover official controls and inspections covering plant health, animal health and food safety in Tanzania as well pest diagnosis training workshops that will cover plant health and animal health. The SPS technical training programs are instrumental in enhancing SPS knowledge, skills and practice which is considered a key requisite for effective enforcement of SPS requirements thereby enhancing safe intra-regional and international trade.