IGAD and FAO have jointly been implementing a regional project on “Improving Supply of Safe and Quality Livestock and Meat Exported from the Horn of Africa to Middle East and North African Countries”. The project has facilitated a number of activities such as strengthening of livestock policy hubs, training of trade counselors, establishment of IGAD-MENA technical committee, facilitation of the private sector to participate in Gulf Food Fair (2016, 2017 and 2018) and supported exploration of alternative markets in South East Asia among others to complement member states’ efforts to increase exports of live animals and meat. The workshop was to review and validate the import sanitary requirements awareness creation materials segregated according to importing countries. The participants were project focal points, Directors of animal health (CVOs) and Directors of Livestock Production from IGAD member states.
The meeting was officiated by Dr. Solomon Munyua, Director- ICPALD and Dr. Charles Ochodo on behalf of the CVO Kenya. The following recommendations were made;
- Member states (MS) should plan and budget for development and dissemination of awareness materials from farm to fork for sustainable awareness along livestock value chains.
- All awareness materials development need to incorporate dissemination, monitoring and evaluation plans and budgets to reach the desired audience, support feedback mechanism and measure the impact realized.
- MS should develop (where not existent) and implement residue monitoring plans for food safety and compliance with import requirements.
- MS should capitalize on the signed Africa continental free trade area agreement to explore alternative markets in the continent for livestock and livestock products.
- MS should maintain contact with trained trade counselors stationed in MENA countries for design of awareness materials and continued support for real time market opportunities and performance.
- Member states (government & private sector) and IGAD should utilize communication/ extension units to design and package awareness creation messages for effective communication and reach to target audience. All messages developed must be consented by the CVO before dissemination.
- Member states and IGAD should mobilize resources for awareness creation nationally and from implementing partners.
ICPALD acknowledges and appreciates the Italian Development Cooperation for financing this event through the IGAD /FAO implemented livestock and meat project.