Sixteen experts from East African Community (EAC) Partner States participated in a week-long training workshop supported by the USAID Hub in Nairobi, Kenya on preparation of business plans for Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) laboratories. The workshop prepared the SPS stakeholders to produce customized business plans to guide the operations of select laboratories that support SPS actions related to disease and pest detection, hazards identification and analysis, and compliance assessments of products.
Laboratories play a critical role in providing objective data in food safety, animal health and plant health systems. Such data enables assessment of the performance of the system, detection of pests and diseases, identification of hazards, and assessment of the compliance of products for certification. Reliable laboratory data are critical for regulatory enforcement and trade. All stakeholders along value chains from “farm to fork” need well-managed, equipped and operating laboratories to provide the needed analytical results. The training comes at a crucial time whereby EAC Partner States’ public and private sectors have several laboratories that lack a clear vision in support of SPS decisions including their profitability and sustainability. Customized business plans will enable these laboratories to deliver quality results that are accurate, timely and reliable.
The USAID Hub provides capacity building on SPS measures to EAC Partner States that will lead to the ratification and full implementation of the EAC SPS Protocol. This will enable harmonization of food health standards and enhance safe trade of agricultural commodities in the EAC.