On February 6, the EAGC signed a grant with the East Africa Trade and Investment Hub (EATIH) to support the implementation of the East African Community (EAC) staple foods quality standards. The 2013 gazetted standards do not meet the needs of all stakeholders according to a Gap Analysis Study conducted by the EAGC.
Some of the identified gaps are; The existence of technical gaps, Inconsistent sampling and test methods, Limited capacity for graders as well as lack of standards awareness materials. To address these gaps and ensure consistent implementation going forward, the EAGC has partnered with the EAC secretariat and the private sector to revise these standards.
EAGC Executive Director, Mr Gerald Masila said that this grant will support the completion of the revision of the EAC staple foods quality standards and the development of the sampling, testing and grading guidelines.
EAGC will consolidate feedback from the public view, organize editorial meetings and present the draft EAC 2016 staple food standards to the EAC standards committee for review with the aim of adoption in October 2016 at the EAC Council of Ministers.
“The Hub is pleased to provide a grant that enables the private sector to take a bigger role in trade policy,” said Hub Chief of Party Juan Estrada-Valle.
The first activity under the grant will be held February 28 – March 3, 2017 in Kigali, Rwanda to discuss and incorporate feedback from a December 2016 public review of the existing EAC grain standards.
The overall objective of the grant activity is to increase flow of quality grain commodities from surplus to deficit areas and eliminate unnecessary barriers to trade in the region as well as promote confidence among regional trading partners of the quality standards in staple foods.