The USAID Hub, in partnership with the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), held a five-day workshop on plant health, animal health and food safety in Nairobi, Kenya. The workshop promoted the application of sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) inspections, supporting 35 senior staff from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda with fulfilling their role in ensuring safe intra-regional and international trade. It also created a loose network of SPS inspectors who can assist one another with inquiries on SPS requirements and best practices moving forward.
The primary objective of the East African Community (EAC) SPS Protocol is to operationalize aspects of the EAC Protocol dealing with cooperation among Partner States in trade of agricultural commodities. The ratification and full implementation of the EAC SPS Protocol will enable harmonization of food health standards and enhance safe trade of agricultural commodities in the EAC. Harmonizing standards will also enhance the EAC's capacity to access international markets by having the region adhere to a common set of rules that enable them to pool produce from multiple Partner States to meet external demand.
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