The EAC region has made a commitment to transform the regional economy through value addition by promoting development of strategic regional value chains and facilitating the development of and access to appropriate skills and know how.

One of the capacity building courses in this context is a Training of Trainers (ToT) on awareness raising for the implementation of harmonised standards for quality and safety requirements in the fruits and vegetables as well as the leather sector of the EAC. The purpose of this capacity building is to enable the trainers to conduct respective awareness raising events with relevant stakeholders in the field as well as to provide them with appropriate training material.

According to the EAC, two current challenges with the implementation of harmonised standards for the selected products need to be addressed through this initiative:

  • Awareness of agro-processors, traders, standards inspectors, border officials and other relevant stakeholders about regionally harmonised standards.
  • Awareness of horticultural and animal farmers, primary societies, traders and other relevant stakeholders about quality and safety requirements of the market(s).

As project funds and institutional set-up don’t allow the RIVA project to deliver this awareness raising to the target group directly, we have chosen to focus on training trainers (key focal persons), who will then conduct respective awareness raising events in the field.

A key result is to achieve an improved agricultural cross-border trade amid the COVID-19 pandemic for better livelihood of small-scale farmers and MSMEs in the EAC region through:

  • Simplified procedures to enhance participation of agricultural related MSMEs in cross-border trade.
  • Awareness raising on regional cross-border trade and related opportunities (e.g. use of EAC simplified certificate of origin).
  • Capacity building of farmers to meet market quality and safety requirements.