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EAC embarks in capacity building for Plant Health Inspectors on Standard Operating Procedures for inspecting key agricultural commodities

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 27th January, 2022: The East African Community Secretariat has embarked on capacity building on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for plant health inspectors at its One-Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) to ensure that the region is protected from threats of pest infestation against key agricultural commodities. 

The SOPs were developed to operationalize the Pest Risk Analysis (PRAs) for maize, beans and rice that are the most widely traded in the region.  

Speaking when he officially opened a capacity building workshop for plant health inspectors at the Kabanga-Kobero OSBP bordering Tanzania and Burundi, the EAC Director of Productive and Social Sectors, Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana, said that the initiative on PRAs commenced more than one decade ago.  

“The first activity we embarked on was the development of pest lists. The second stage entailed development, validation and adoption of PRAs for maize, beans and rice,” said Havugimana, adding that the Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security held in June 2021 adopted the SOPs for operationalizing the PRAs three key agricultural commodities. 

“Utilization and application of the SOPs at the border points by plant health inspectors is a turning point in the entire process,” said Mr. Havugimana. 

Mr. Havugimana said that the capacity-building workshops were meant to induct plant health inspectors at key OSBPs and ensure that they have a clear and deep understanding of the procedures contained in the inspection manual. 

Speaking on the same occasion, the Kabanga-Kobero Tanzania Revenue Authority Station Manager, Mr. Elpidius Romwadi Bigirwamungu, hailed the capacity building workshop noting that it was of significant importance to the customs operations at the border. 

In her remarks delivered on behalf of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Ms. Esther Muchiri, the Regional Coordinator at the Africa Food Safety Initiative (AFSI), disclosed that AFSI, which is funded by USDA, had been designed to support interventions in the areas of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) – plant health, food safety and Maximum Residue Levels. 

Ms. Muchiri said that USDA had made arrangements for procurement and donation of essential items to support the work of inspectors at the Kabanga-Kobero and other OSBPs.

For more information, please contact:

Simon Peter Owaka
Senior Public Relations Officer
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: +255 768 552087
Email: sowaka [at] eachq.org

About the East African Community Secretariat:

The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.

The EAC Secretariat is ISO 9001: 2015 Certified

East African Community
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United Republic of Tanzania

Tel: +255 (0)27 216 2100
Fax: +255 (0)27 216 2190
Email: eac@eachq.org  |  sgoffice@eachq.org