IGAD in partnership with FAO, with financial support from Italian Development Cooperation is implementing the regional project; Improving supply of safe and quality livestock and meat exported from the Horn of Africa to Middle East and North African (MENA) countries. The project has provisions to support private and public sectors from IGAD member states to participate on the Gulf food fair (GFF) which was conducted from 18 to 20 February, 2018. Meat and live animal exporters and Ministry of trade government officials /external trade unit/from IGAD member states participated. The Trade officers /directors from the Ministry of Trade were supported to learn on sustainable coordination of the private sectors (livestock & non-livestock commodities) in promotion and linkage. The IGAD delegation (15 participants) was led by Dr. Solomon Munyua, Director ICPALD and technically coordinated by Dr. Ameha Sebsibe, Head Livestock and Fisheries.
The key observations:
The IGAD delegation was able to visit pavilion/meat stand of India, Pakistan, Australia, Newzealand, Brazil, and other major exporting countries and able to learn on the coordination, presentation of products (various cuts, packaging, labeling), prices; promotional materials etc. It was also learnt that companies from the above countries produce their products based on customer requirements. They also provide market information specific to their business for their customers on a continuous basis.
Countries such as Brazil, Australia and India have respective authorities ApexBrasil, MLA (Meat and Livestock Australia) and APEDA (Agricultural products Export Development Authority) supporting marketing & promotion to the private sectors. The authorities closely assist the private companies to have the right conducive policy environment and empower them for enhanced competitiveness on international markets, coordinate trade promotions, support trade mission to explore new markets and promote private sector participation in international trade fairs among others. The IGAD delegation also learnt that aggressive marketing strategy supported by adequate capacity to comply SPS and improved supply of marketable animals will increase their market share in the Middle East & North Africa /MENA/countries, Asia and some African countries.
IGAD/ICPALD also facilitated the delegation to participate on the Dubai chamber of commerce breakfast meeting. Meat is one of the major food commodities being imported into Dubai currently with 7.4% growth rate and hence good opportunity to IGAD exporting countries to improve performance and promotion for increased market share.
The delegation was also taken to the Dubai Cattle market to observe the origin, condition, price etc of the cattle; sheep and goat imported from Asia & Georgia. The delegation team discussed with the municipality regulatory bodies and importers on how to enhance the supply of live animals from IGAD countries. The importers reiterated the strong interest they have to import from IGAD region and advised the exporters to closely discuss and work with the regulatory body in United Arab Emirates /UAE/. The delegation team was also taken to Carrefour, one of the hypermarket, and observed the meat sale (type of products; packaging, price and source) and able to observe the need to invest on value added products than continue exporting whole carcass
The delegation team appreciated the participation that was eye- opener, enabled them to learn the Gulf market requirements and share their promotional materials. Some exporters also had side line meeting and interact with potential buyers. Finally the team had a wrap-up session, identified key lessons and made recommendations including the need to sustainably empower the major exporters; coordinate and support stakeholders nationally and regionally to meet market requirements, promote the products and attract new buyers and investors to the IGAD region
IGAD/ICPALD expresses appreciation to Italian Development Cooperation for financing this event through the IGAD /FAO implemented livestock and meat project.