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Monday, December 1, 2014

COMESA stakeholders harmonize fertilizer policy

Stakeholders at the just concluded high level harmonization workshop on fertiliser policies and regulations in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) ended in the city of Lusaka, Zambia, with a call by member states to proactively facilitate free trade through meaningful regional integration, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The two day meeting, NaijaAgroNet gathered attracted policy makers in COMESA region who ended up recommending that COMESA, being the implementing agency of the member countries facilitates a highly consultative process at national and sub-regional levels that will lead to an agreement on a regional policy and regulatory framework for fertiliser development.

A press statement issued by Maria Wanzala-Mlobela, Senior Fertilizer Expert with Africa Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) informed NaijaAgroNet that the main tasks will include a systematic assessment of, and response to, policy, legal and regulatory obstacles to fertiliser trade, including the removal of value added tax (VAT) and other taxes on all fertiliser products in the region.

This, she said, was aimed at creating an enabling environment for private sector investment and commercial opportunities in the region.

As said by her, investing in improved agricultural production is vital to Africa’s economic transformation to alleviate poverty and achieving food security through the development of the fertilizer industry especially through public private partnerships (PPPs).

Ms. Maria Wanzala-Mlobela noted that revolutionising the fertilizer supply chain system in Africa requires a multi-stakeholder, all inclusive approach that addresses access, affordability, availability, and investments incentives.

“COMESA will support the domestication of regional regulations, monitor progress toward regional harmonisation and guide Member States in the formulation and alignment of national policy and programme initiatives such as subsidy programmes,” said Maria Wanzala-Mlobela.

+Remmy Nweke @NaijaAgroNet @COMESA
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