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  • Assess dairy industry in the COMESA in order to hasten the integration of dairy producers in National, Regional and International Markets

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    The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) comprises nineteen member states, with a total population of 490 million people. The Secretariat is guided by the COMESA Treaty – an instrument developed by member states and endorsed by their heads of states and governments otherwise called the COMESA Authority.

    COMESA is the largest regional economic community in Africa with a total land mass of 12.6 million square kilometres, a GDP of US $ 525 Billion and a population of 490 million Within COMESA, the agriculture sector accounts for more than 32 percent of GDP, supplies 65 percent of raw materials for industry, and employs 80 percent of the region’s population. COMESA region relies heavily on agriculture for employment and economic growth and has got huge livestock resources. The livestock sector accounts for more than 35% of agricultural GDP and 30% of foreign exchange earnings.

    COMESA region is endowed with considerable natural resources, including highlands whose moderate tropical climate makes it particularly suitable for dairying. In COMESA, there is enormous market potential and opportunity to increase dairy production and productivity. For instance, despite having large livestock resources, member states in COMESA spent more than 2.5 billion USD in 2012 for importing animal source foods of which dairy products import account for 43% from elsewhere to the region (FAOSTAT 2012). This shows tremendous opportunity for the development of the Dairy Sector. The population is sufficiently large to attract investment in the  infrastructure,  technologies  and  services  required  to  further  develop  the  dairy  industry.  With good prospects for economic growth, regional integration provides a practical way of expanding the consumer market.

    In order to reach regional and global markets, it is necessary for dairy producers to set up reliable supply chains that involve dealing with complex logistics across multiple sectors to comply with SPS standards. Some of the difficulties facing dairy producers include the need for:

    • Trade intelligence and capacity building to identify niche markets for the dairy products
    • Assistance in building export logistics by facilitating linkages through the value chains from smallholders and medium livestock producers to large exporters
    • Building the capacities of value chain actors to comply with dairy product quality standards, packaging requirements and customs procedures
    • Assistance and capacity building to formulate long-term business plans that include product upgrades, innovation and diversification
    • Access to credit and long-term financing mechanisms.

    Large exporters/companies can assist in overcoming these barriers for trade and act as channels for small and medium producers to export their dairy produces. They can also help small and medium producers to enhance their productivity and the quality of their products through training programmes, contractual arrangements and support for global marketing.

    TOR-Dairy-Industry-in-COMESA-VET-GOV.pdf (294 downloads)
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