Kenya to ratify EAC food quality and safety protocol

Agriculture secretary Willy Bett. PHOTO | FILE

Agriculture secretary Willy Bett has said Kenya will ratify the regional food quality and safety pact in the latest effort to boost cross-border trade.

World Trade Organisation has recommended the pact — the East African Community (EAC) Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Protocol to guide handling of plant and animal materials.

“The protocol will take care of food safety issues and standards that are currently affecting our animal and plant items.

“The key for ratification, however, is that it will enhance trade in and across the region hence a matter of urgency for Kenya,” Mr Bett told a stakeholders’ meeting in Nairobi last week.

The EAC faces threats such as larger grain borer and cypress Aphid, originally from Tanzania. Mr Bett said ratifying the protocol would ensure cross-border trade does not have negative impact on animal and plant health.

The parliamentary Committee on Agriculture chairman Adan Nooru Mohamed said the ratification of the protocol would enhance cross-border trade in agricultural produce.

“I urge stakeholders to work in urgency and ensure that the protocol is passed,” said Mr Mohamed.

Rwanda and Uganda have already ratified the protocol.

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