Regional Pastoral Livelihoods Resilience Project (RPLRP) is being implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda and funded by the World Bank. IGAD is tasked with harmonization of policies in the project participating countries in order to encourage cross-border and regional trade. Harmonization of grades and standards of live animals, meat and hides & skins for camels, cattle and sheep & goats was started in October 2015 through technical support of IGAD Center for Pastoral Areas and Livestock Development (ICPALD). A working group was established in the three countries to work on action plan agreed during 2015 and 2016 regional meetings. The regional technical working group meeting was held in Adama, Ethiopia from 30th January to 1st February, 2018 in order to review progress towards harmonization by each country. The meeting was attended by representatives from the national standard agencies and Ministries in charge of Livestock market and trade from Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.
The workshop was opened officially by the State Minister of Livestock Market and Trade, Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, Ethiopia, HE, Alebachew Nugussie who emphasized the importance of harmonized grades and standards for the three commodities in order to enhance trade among the three countries with a potential role out to other IGAD member states. He informed the meeting that the AU heads of summit meeting in Addis Ababa that happened at the end of January, 2018 focused on enhancing free trade area in Africa and this being the stepping stone to regional integration. Dr. Dereje addressed the meeting on behalf of the ICPALD Director.
The two-day intensive meeting helped the participants to identify discrepancies among the countries and agree on next step. Harmonization of grades and standards for live animal, meat and hide and skin reached more than 90% while some are completed. It was agreed that priority will be given to live animals grade publicizing at national and regional levels.
Table 1: Harmonization level by commodity:
|Commodity||Camels||Bovine||Sheep & goats|
|Hides & skins||100%||100%||100%|
The meeting reached the following recommendations;
- The three countries agreed to gazette by June 30th 2018 Grades and Standards of Live Animals. Through consultation of the three countries national standard agencies, RPLRP will compile one booklet of the grades and standards of live animals for dissemination by December 2018;
- Dissemination and familiarization of the gazetted grades and standards of the three commodities at national levels through stakeholder workshops, training of extension workers will be supported by national RPLRP from January 2019; and
- The three countries shall prepare draft standard for transportation of live animals for trade, taking into account issues of animal welfare, environment and hygiene by June 30th 2019.
ICPALD expresses its appreciation to the World Bank and Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda for funding the activity.