Strengthening phytosanitary capacity for plant exports
The project's aim is to improve Zambia’s phytosanitary capacity and increase the confidence of its trading partners, especially SADC Member States, by complying with their phytosanitary requirements. This will contribute to the growth of plant and plant-product exports as well as strengthening the phytosanitary regulatory system.
The phytosanitary control system of Zambia has been facing several issues over the last years. Firstly, border processing of consignments is time consuming. Secondly, plant health inspectors (PHIs) and traders have difficulties accessing up-to-date information on phytosanitary requirements for exporting and importing plants and plant products leading to unjustified and arbitrary phytosanitary measures being applied to consignments. Finally, current legislation and limited resources severely constrain the Plant Quarantine and Phytosanitary Service's (PQPS) ability to effectively carry out its functions as Zambia's National Plant Protection Organization's (NPPO).
To address these issues, the project will start by reviewing SADC phytosanitary requirements for trade in plants and plant products. Based on this, an action plan will be developed to boost Zambian plants and plant products exports into the SADC region. The project will also look at current regulations to identify and address its shortcomings. The objective is to define the roles and responsibilities of Zambia’s NPPO and propose an action plan for legislative change in order to improve Zambia’s phytosanitary regulatory system.
This project provides an opportunity for Zambia to build up its capacity. The project includes outputs and activities that will improve Zambia’s institutional and operational phytosanitary capacity, and in so doing, facilitate trade in plants and plant products. SADC's market access requirements for various plant products will be compiled and made available to exporters in the region. At least one new market access submission will be prepared for a commodity identified by potential exporters to have an established supply chain (e.g. avocados) in Zambia.
Improved access to trading partners’ phytosanitary requirements and understanding of risk-based approaches to managing trade in plant products
The project will identify opportunities for Zambia to export plants and plant products into the SADC region. Detailed information on import requirements applying to plants and plant products will be required by each member state. Then, it will identify relevant information sources and how they can be accessed for updates. The compiled information, hard and soft copy, will be made available to interested parties. The information will then be assessed to determine whether Zambian exports comply with other members’ phytosanitary requirements, and if not, what additional measures need to be implemented by producers and/or Zambia’s NPPO.
Political and operational changes to Zambia’s phytosanitary regulatory system will be necessary to better manage plant health risks. This means that pests representing high risks must be prioritised for attention within PQPS operations and all risk management options must be examined to ensure that practical and cost-effective measures are adopted based on the associated level of risk.
Recommendations developed on potential opportunities for improving Zambians exports and to improve Zambia’s phytosanitary regulatory system will be collated into an Action Plan. This plan will also establish priorities for making changes to Zambia’s phytosanitary system and will consider a more risk-based approach. The Action Plan is a document that PQPS can use to develop its five-year Strategic Plan.
Formal recognition of the roles and responsibilities of Zambia’s National Plant Protection Organization (NPPO)
Zambia’s NPPO, the PQPS, operates under The Plant Pests and Diseases Act, which provides for the eradication and prevention of the spread of plant pests and diseases in Zambia. The Plant Pests and Diseases Act CAP 233 (of 1994) does not formally recognise the roles and responsibilities of Zambia’s NPPO or the country’s SPS obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), as well as a signatory contracting party of the International Pant Protection Convention (IPPC).
The project will then review the Plant Pests and Diseases Act and associated Regulations to address shortcomings in Zambians legislation regarding the phytosanitary control system. This represents an opportunity to bring clarity to the NPPO’s role in SPS coordination in Zambia.
The project also aims at approving the Bill, through the appropriate government processes. With support from the Ministry of Agriculture of Zambia (MOA), it will involve the formulation of an Action Plan to set out all the steps required for the Bill to be adopted.
Strategies developed for future operations of Zambia's NPPO and a Zambia-led regional plant quarantine pest surveillance programme
The project will carry out a workshop to develop a five-year Strategic Plan for Zambia's PQPS. It will be developed through a five-day session for ten senior PQPS staff from PQPS’s head office. The workshop, facilitated by an external consultant, will provide the staff the chance to participate in a systematic process of envisioning the service in a five-year time framework, translating that vision into broadly defined goals/objectives, and lastly, using the Action Plan previously developed to define the steps required to achieve those objectives.
After developing the five-year strategic plan for PQPS, the staff will also build up an Annual Operational Plan to assist the PQPS in implementing its five-year Strategic Plan and to justify the annual operating budget. This activity will involve a two-day meeting of 10 PQPS staff to define what portion of the Strategic Plan will be put into operation each year and establish the activities PQPS will deliver and the resources required to deliver them.
Two other workshops will also be organized by the project. One to determine which quarantine pests along the SADC region require surveillance and another one to draft a SADC policy on cost sharing/resourcing arrangements for regional SPS surveillance activities. If a SADC Member State confirms that one or more quarantined pests require regional surveillance, a final workshop will be organized to develop a Regional Plant Quarantine Pest Surveillance Programme.
NPPO staff trained in export phytosanitary regulatory systems
A six-day workshop for 10 PQPS staff about bilateral market access negotiations. The workshop will use relevant commodity examples to be exported to South Africa and/or another SADC Member State. It will also develop a high-quality market access submission (comprising of a Formal request, Pest list, Information on production practices in the production areas, and Proposed phytosanitary measures for any quarantine pests for the importing country) for two commodities (e.g. avocado and squash).
The ‘expert’ consultant will bring inside-knowledge of the market access processes and import risk analysis procedures followed by South Africa’s NPPO and provide one-on-one guidance or mentoring to participants during a learning-by-doing workshop.