Push To Invest In Agri-Food Standards Attract Regional Attention

Women package avocado for export inside the NAEB warehouse in Kigali. Rwandan export products have been subjected to heavy-duty inspection at international markets|photo|the new times

By Julius Bizimungu

Plant and animal products traded across the world are subjected to global standards under what is known as Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures set by the World Trade Organisation (WTO), a body that deals with global rules of trade.

These measures are generally meant to protect human, animal and plant health from risks arising from contaminants, toxins, additives, or disease organisms.

They are also meant to protect animal or plant life from pests, diseases, and disease-causing organisms.

In essence, if a Rwandan trader exports fruits to the European market or any other market, the products are usually subject to inspection to check if they live up to those standards.

In other markets, the products will be subject to testing of packaging and labeling standards, processing methods and certification.

In many cases, countries with stronger SPS standards tend to trade less with countries that have weaker SPS standards.

More developed nations normally have stronger standards and demand a lot from less developed countries and less developed countries end up being victims.

For instance, between 1995 and 2017, developed countries raised 242 SPS trade concerns as opposed to only 7 concerns raised by least developed countries. 226 measures were maintained as opposed to only 1 measure, according to WTO…Read more>>

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