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 26 to 28 February, 2017. Meat 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. The IGAD delegation was led by Dr. Solomon Munyua, Director ICPALD and technically coordinated by Dr. Ameha, Head, Livestock and Fisheries.
The key observations:
IGAD delegation was able to visit pavilion/meat stand of India, Pakistan, Australia, Argetina, Newzealand, Brazil, and other major exporting countries and able to learn on the coordination, presentation of products (packaging, labeling) , quality flyers 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.
Major meat exporting governments support formation of authorities such as ApexBrasil- (Brasil), MLA (Meat and Livestock Australia) (Australia) and APEDA (Agricultural products Export Development Authority) for India to support aggressive export marketing & promotion. The authorities stimulate and closely assist the private companies to have the right conducive policy environment and empower them for enhanced competitiveness on international markets, coordinate innovative trade promotions in line with each sector, support trade mission to explore new markets and promote private sector participation in international trade fairs among others. The IGAD delegation learnt that aggressive marketing strategy supported by improved quality and healthy products will increase their market share in the Middle East & North Africa /MENA/countries and beyond.
IGAD/ICPALD also facilitated the delegation to participate on the Dubai chamber of commerce breakfast meeting It was made clear that meat is the leading food commodity being imported into Dubai currently with 8% growth rate. The exporters from IGAD got opportunity to interact with chamber members and share their promotional materials. They were also taken to the Dubai Cattle market to observe the origin, condition, price etc of the cattle; sheep and goat imported from Asia & Middle East countries. The delegation team discussed with the municipality regulatory bodies and importers on how to enhance the supply of live animals. The importers reiterated the strong interest they have to import from IGAD region and advised the exporting countries to closely discuss and work with the regulatory body in United Arab Emirates /UAE/. The delegation team was also taken to one of the hypermarket and made them to observe the meat sale (type of products; packaging, price and source) at Carrefour
Finally the delegation had a wrap-up session, identified key lessons and made recommendations including the need to sustainably empower the major exporters; coordinate stakeholders nationally and regionally to aggressively promote /display /the products and attract new buyers and investors to the IGAD region
IGAD/ICPALD expresses appreciation to Italian Development Cooperation for financing this event.