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New regional livestock association (NEALCO) to promote trade in livestock and livestock products in IGAD , COMESA and EAC

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© 2014 AU-IBAR. Group photo.© 2014 AU-IBAR. Group photo.A new regional livestock association, the North Eastern Africa Livestock Council (NEALCO) has been established by national livestock associations from the North Eastern Africa region. NEALCO's mandate is to promote, coordinate, share information and advocate for enhanced trade in livestock and livestock products within and outside the region. A promotion workshop for NEALCO was held in Kampala, Uganda from 6th to 7th October 2014 with the main aim of introducing NEALCO to Regional Economic Communities (RECs), technical partners, national associations, and relevant national ministries.

On behalf of the Director of AU-IBAR, Dr James Wabacha welcomed all participants to the workshop. He recognized the growing demand for livestock and livestock products in the region. He noted the need for NEALCO to help improve the competitiveness of value-chain actors and promote intra- and interregional livestock trade. AU-IBAR hoped to see NEALCO lead the way in improving livestock trade regionally and internationally. In his remarks, Dr Solomon Munyua, the Acting Director of ICPALD on behalf of IGAD warmly welcomed all participants to the workshop and outlined the story of NEALCO. Starting as an activity within a project, NEALCO had evolved into an institution. A point had reached for traders to take a centre stage in running NEALCO, with the participation of MS, IGAD, EAC, COMESA and AU-IBAR's role being reduced to only providing assistance as prescribed by NEALCO Executive Committee. NEALCO had to concentrate on adding value to livestock products. On behalf of NEALCO, Dr Khalid appreciated the support from AU-IBAR, IGAD and USAID. In his opening remarks, Dr Wesonga on behalf of the Minister for Animal Industry, Uganda, emphasized the need to reduce shocks due to disease, increase livestock production and improve market access for livestock and livestock products in the region. He stated that the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF valued the support accorded by AU-IBAR and IGAD/ICPALD through the SMP-AH project. The Ministry was ready to support empowering NEALCO in its membership drive. The meeting was attended by 37 participants from 11 countries, FAO, AU-IBAR, IGAD, COMESA, Kenya Livestock Marketing Council (KLMC), Kenya Livestock Producers Association (KLPA), IGAD Business Forum (IBF), Agri-profocus, Ethiopian Meat Producers and Exporters Association (EMPEA) and Chama Cha Wafugaji (CCW).

The main objectives of the meeting were to promote NEALCO among RECs, technical partners, national associations and relevant national ministries; review the progress of NEALCO activities; initiate a recruitment drive for national livestock associations and other livestock value chain actors from the region into NEALCO; review the status of national associations and identify their gaps; review and agree on the Terms of Reference of the NEALCO advisory committee; and identify potential collaborators for NEALCO and propose modalities for partnership.

Key recommendations included:

  • KLPA to partner with NEALCO in organizing a Regional Pastoral Livestock Value-chain Expo
  • National associations to support NEALCO in funding activities
  • The need to widen diversity of representation within NEALCO Executive Committee to include relevant languages spoken-English, French and Arabic, within the 13 member countries.
  • The need for NEALCO to formalise its engagement with regional Economic Communities, international organizations, regional community-based organizations such as EAFF, SACOU EAGC, AGRO-PROFOCUS etc.
  • More support to be given to livestock producers by NEALCO
  • The need for ESADA and EAGC to mentor NEALCO
  • NEALCO to map out the various livestock value-chains and ensure appropriate representation
  • Financial support and training to NEALCO through a Public Private Partnerships by FAO
  • NEALCO to encourage and advocate for transformation of extensive systems to commercial enterprises.

The meeting agreed on modalities to operationalize the NEALCO Secretariatat ICPALD, coordinate the membership drive, and initiate regional trade fairs and resource mobilization. The Executive Committee would help countries such as Burundi, DRC, Djibouti, South Sudan and Somalia initiate national associations, while NEALCO would engage in awareness creation among pastoralists to improve livestock marketing.

In a bid to address challenges affecting trade in livestock and livestock products in the IGAD region as a result of trade-related Transboundary Animal Diseases, African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR) in partnership with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), with financial support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is implementing the regional project, the Standard Methods and Procedures in Animal Health (SMP-AH. SMP-AH is supporting NEALCO as a coordination body among Regional Economic Communities for policies on trade in live animals and animal products in the three Regional Economic Communities of IGAD, EAC and COMESA.

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The North East Africa Livestock Council (NEALCO)
Date 2014-10-21 Language  English Filesize 689.13 KB