Jan 14, 2019: Due to lack of harmonisation in sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards, major agricultural import markets like the Far East, Europe and South Africa are hesitant to trade with many Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) countries.

Kiyego Cheuget, Comesa assistant secretary general cited as saying in an article to a local newspaper that lack of investment in SPS affects countries' trade with each other and is a major contributor to the continent's importation of agricultural produce worth $35 billion.

He explained that this created trade barriers as goods could, for example, be prevented from moving from Tanzania to Kenya because the two countries used different standards. “This also affects the ability of Comesa countries to access some high value markets like the European Union and the United States,” he added

At the same time, South Africa, a Comesa member, did not import many agricultural products from the rest of the continent.

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