The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in partnership with Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), with financial support from Italian Development Cooperation is implementing the regional project; Improving supply of safe and quality livestock and meat exported from the Horn of Africa to Middle East and North African (MENA) countries.
The project with provisions to support private and public sectors from IGAD Member States to attend the Gulf Food Fair (GFF) like the just concluded conducted from February 26 to 28, 2017, where government officials from the Ministry of Trade, external trade unit and meat exporters from IGAD Member States participated.
IGAD delegation was able to visit pavilion/meat stand of India, Pakistan, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Brazil, and other major exporting countries. They were able to learn about coordination, presentation of products (packaging, labeling), quality flyers and aggressive marketing strategy supported by improved quality and healthy products can help increase the market share of IGAD countries in the Middle East & North Africa /MENA/countries and beyond.
The team also learnt that companies from the above countries produce their products based on customer requirements, provide market information specific to their business for their customers on a continuous basis as well as major meat exporting governments supporting the formation of authorities such as ApexBrasil- (Brasil), MLA (Meat and Livestock Australia) (Australia) and APEDA (Agricultural products Export Development Authority) for India to support aggressive export marketing & promotion.
These authorities stimulate and closely assist the private companies to have the right conducive policy environment and empower them for enhanced competitiveness on international markets, coordinate innovative trade promotions in line with each sector, support trade mission to explore new markets and promote private sector participation in international trade fairs among others.
Another lesson learnt was sustainable coordination of the private sectors (livestock & non-livestock commodities) in promotion.
IGAD/ICPALD also facilitated the delegation from IGAD to participate on the Dubai Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting, where it was clear that meat is the leading food commodity being imported into Dubai currently with 8% growth rate.
The exporters from IGAD got an opportunity to interact with chamber members and share their promotional materials. They were also taken to the Dubai Cattle market to observe the origin, condition, price of the cattle; sheep and goat imported from Asia & Middle East countries.
The delegation team discussed with the municipality regulatory bodies and importers on how to enhance the supply of live animals. The importers reiterated the strong interest they have to import from IGAD region and advised the exporting countries to closely discuss and work with the regulatory body in United Arab Emirates (UAE). The delegation team was also taken to one of the hypermarket and made them to observe the meat sale (type of products; packaging, price and source) at Carrefour.
The IGAD delegation was led by Dr. Solomon Munyua, Director ICPALD and technically coordinated by Dr. Ameha, Head, Livestock and Fisheries who after the wrap-up session, identified key lessons and made recommendations including the need to sustainably empower the major exporters; coordinate stakeholders nationally and regionally to aggressively promote and display the products to attract new buyers and investors to the IGAD region.
IGAD/ICPALD expresses its appreciation to Italian Development Cooperation for financing this event.