Plant biosecurity partnership opens new markets for African countries
The Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership (AAPBP) – of which CABI is a partner – has helped Tanzania to access new markets for mangoes in Oman and Saudi Arabia, and Zambia to sell bananas and grapes to South Africa.
A step in the direction of ending global poverty, the project’s AUS$1.8 million investment is starting to pay dividends thanks to improving the knowledge and skills of plant biosecurity professionals in 10 African countries – Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
In Africa, the agricultural sector employs over 60% of the labour force and accounts for 30% of the GDP in many countries. Plant biosecurity is a major global issue, with invasive species estimated to cause US$400 billion of damage a year.
Funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and delivered by a consortium of partners, the AAPBP tackled the impact of pests on crops by highlighting the relationship between food security and plant biosecurity, overcoming regulatory challenges and sharing know-how.
To facilitate this, it established the Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Network comprising 45 Fellows, led by 15 Senior Fellows, with the aim of delivering technical biosecurity mentoring and training, forging relationships between African Fellows and Australian experts, and supporting national and regional biosecurity action.
“The Fellowship has been a fantastic experience. I am confident I can make a real difference to agricultural trade in and from my country, as well as helping our farmers directly.” – Ephrance Tumuboine, Assistant Commissioner of the Phytosanitary and Quarantine Division, Uganda.
“From my experience in Australia, I approached the Association of Mango Growers directly. We have now been able to negotiate market access for exporting mangoes to Oman and Saudi Arabia.” – Katemani Mdili, Senior Agricultural Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Tanzania.