The African Development Fund (ADF) has approved a grant of 3.736mn units of account (UA), equivalent to US$5.53mn, to finance the Agricultural Institutional Strengthening and Marketing Promotion Project to Comesa (Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa).
The project seeks to strengthen economic growth in Comesa member states through the promotion of intra and inter-Comesa agricultural marketing.
It will establish and implement the Comesa-wide Food and Agricultural Marketing Information System (FAMIS), 20 national and 100 technical focal points for agricultural marketing information collection and dissemination. It will network and implement 20 new agricultural marketing information collection points, hold sensitisation workshops for 300 stakeholders per country in the use of the FAMIS website, undertake studies on agricultural export niches and tariff barriers.
Regarding the sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures and food safety standards improvement, the project will train 61 sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) technical focal points and 60 national laboratory experts. It will establish focal points on surveillance systems and on SPS legislation, regulations and procedures in the member states.
The project area will be the Comesa region with 20 member states and a population of 379mn. The direct and immediate beneficiary of the project will be the Comesa Secretariat.
The secondary beneficiaries will be Comesa member states whose national institutions will be strengthened in the techniques of collection, management and dissemination of marketing information, multilateral trade negotiations. The ultimate beneficiaries will be agricultural entrepreneurs, including women, (farmers, processors, manufacturers, exporters, importers) whose intra and extra-Comesa trade would be facilitated and rendered safer.