By Charles Mkoka, Nairobi, Kenya
The Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) has appealed for enhanced partnership and knowledge sharing to facilitate trade and market access following signing of Africa Continental Free Trade Area Agreement which become effective in 2018.
The appeal was made during a side event at the 15th Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme partnership platform currently underway at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.
AfCFTA is a free trade area, outlined in an agreement among 52 of the 55 countries African Union countries. This is the largest agreement globally, since the formation of the World Trade Organization.
According to CABI Global Director of Value Chains and Trade, George Odour, the time for more efficient, more profitable agricultural trade for developing countries in now. However, he urged for scaled up partnership and information sharing as prerequisites for better trade and market access. He added that CABI is building expertise and capacity along supply chains to increase food security and food safety, and improve prosperity for all.
According to Odour, CABI is fostering the issue of partnership as stipulated in the Sustainable Development Goal number 17. This goal calls for complemented multi stakeholders’ partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources in developing countries.
Harnessing the power of agricultural trade is a highly effective way to secure a supply of safe, high quality produce for the future. Trade is an engine for economic growth in producing countries, helping to alleviate poverty by improving farmers’ livelihoods he said during the side event.
Duncan Simikwa, Senior Programme Officer in Food Security and Agriculture at the Southern Africa Development Community explained as part of the 4thindustrial revolution there is need for more market opportunities and product development at national level as part of value addition. This will create more opportunities for the youth leading to more job creation.
Kiringai Kamau, Global Open Data Africa Lead suggested the need for more communication and data arguing availability of data availability will create the right communication infrastructure to facilitate trade, an idea was well embraced by the participants.
It was agreed therefore that easy market access and trade can better be facilitated when data is readily available and easily accessible.
The theme for the 15thCAADP Partnership Platform is being held under the theme, “Enhancing Trade and Market Access for Accelerated Agriculture Transformation.”