THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) says it will continue supporting Zambia to conduct responsible economic analysis in the allocation of resources that seeks to facilitate trade of agricultural commodities.
To this effect, the Sanitary and Phytosanitary unit at COMESA secretariat, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United States Department of Agriculture, and the Indaba Agriculture Policy Research Institute (IAPRI), held a stakeholder’s workshop for Zambia on the multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) framework recently.
The workshop was aimed at reviewing the Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) capacity building and setting priorities that will help boost Zambia’s agricultural exports.
Speaking during the meeting, COMESA assistant secretary general for programmes ambassador Kipyego Cheluget said COMESA is aware that Zambia and many other member states face challenges in creating appropriate capacity at national level while harmonising SPS measures at regional level.
“COMESA is committed to institutionalisation of the MCDA framework, as a tool to aid decision-making in the allocation of resources. COMESA trains Zambia on applying economic analysis for SPS capacity building. The tool further provides an effective mechanisation of SPS measures at regional level,” he said.
Officiating at the workshop, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock deputy director, technical services Godfrey Musika said Government will ensure that relevant institutions in charge of SPS issues do not create barriers to trade but support agriculture growth in the country.
Mr Musika is optimistic that the outcome of the review will assist Zambia invest resources in interventions aimed at overcoming some of the most persistent constraints and trade barriers faced by private and public sector entities that deal with SPS issues on a daily basis.
“I want to believe that this workshop is just the beginning of sustained efforts to address the SPS capacity gaps across several sub sectors in the country. Zambia faces challenges with technical, human, and financial resources to sufficiently monitor and manage SPS risks as demanded by some of the country’s trading partners,” Musika said.