Kenya and Uganda have agreed to create a common platform to facilitate cross-border trade in fish and fishery products, using Busia border as a model.
The East African Community (EAC) has already developed the regional sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards, the inspectors’ guide, standard operating procedures and the sanitary measures to guide in the trade and roll-out plan.
The programme aims to facilitate trade and ease implementation of SPS measures that provide appropriate level of protection to human, animal and plant health.
The move is expected to end frequent conflicts that have been witnessed by fish traders in the region and break trade barriers that have been undermining fair trade in the region.
The fish trade in the region has been constrained by inadequate hard and soft market and trade infrastructure, and deficient policy and institutional frameworks.
These have led to high transport costs, unpredictable trade regimes and inadequate market information for the stakeholders and inadequate compliance to SPS measures.
Other stakeholders that will be involved in the initiative are COMESA, WorldFish, AU-IBAR, NEPAD Agency, and Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation (LVFO). LVFO executive director Dr Oliva Mkumbo admitted that movement of fish in the region is still facing a lot of challenges.