In the EAC, potatoes are key to food security and to reviving local economies. They are therefore of direct relevance to poverty reduction. The production of certified seed potatoes is still in its infancy in all EAC Partner States and development is most advanced in Kenya. Different phytosanitary requirements for seed potatoes have been recognised as non-tariff trade barriers by the EAC Secretariat. Harmonisation structures and processes are in place that can be used and strengthened. Well-regulated trade in seed potatoes between the countries of East Africa would provide a crucial incentive for the private sector to step up its investments in seed potato production.
In front of this background, the German government supports the EAC Secretariat with its project “Improvement of regional trade with seed potatoes in Eastern Africa”, which is part of the global project Agricultural Policy and Innovation Fund (FABI), implemented by EAC-GIZ under the special initiative "ONE WORLD – No Hunger" of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
FABI aims at providing a basis for the development of trade in seed potatoes in the EAC by strengthening national and regional seed potato standardisation processes as well as national capacities for phytosanitary inspection/certification of seed potatoes. This follows the logic that through strengthened national processes and actors, regional exchange can lead to harmonised seed potato standardisation processes. Moreover, the quantity of available certified seed potatoes per country can be increased by targeted capacity development among key actors and by anchoring context-relevant human capacity development elements in the national phytosanitary control bodies, border inspection posts or national standard organisations including at regional level.
FABI is commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Photo: ©James Nderui