, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – The Eastern and Southern Africa Dairy Association (ESADA) has called on governments in the COMESA region to remove non-tariff barriers that are hindering the growth of the dairy sector in the region.
The association’s CEO Peter Ngaruiya said respective countries need to harmonize the standards laws and allow flexible import and export of dairy products within the region.
Ngaruiya complained that the region is trading more with the European countries limiting more the development of the Intra- African trade.
“The dairy system in Southern Africa is quite different from our dairy system in Eastern Africa. In Southern Africa, they have large scale dairy farming and their quality standards are extremely high. So it’s like they are challenging us to meet those standards,” Ngaruiya said on Thursday.
“But we are telling them, our products are fit here and safe for human consumption.”
He says the dairy trade among the COMESA countries is less than 10 percent in terms of value while the rest 90 percent is serviced by players outside the region and the continent.
“Respective authorities need to look at the standard issues so that within one year we have harmonised standards and acceptable across the region,” he urged.
He was speaking ahead of the three-day African Livestock Conference and Exhibition (ALiCE) expected to kick off on June 26 in Nairobi.
Apart from addressing the challenges facing the livestock sector across in Africa, ALiCE 2013 is also aimed at highlighting the numerous opportunities for investments and development, showcasing of technologies, knowledge and solutions aimed at enhancing competitiveness.
“We will be comfortable as players in this sector to see if we can increase the trade amongst members of COMESA and EAC to something like 60 percent,” Ngaruiya said.
Close to 300 delegates are expected from over 25 countries around the World are expected to attend.