SEVEN countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa  (COMESA) are developing a common grading system to harmonise trade in livestock.

Out of the 21 member countries of the COMESA region, Zambia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt and Seychelles intend to implement measures that will help to harness livestock trade in the region.

Speaking during the first meeting to discuss modalities on how livestock producing and importing countries can harmonise trade, COMESA Said the development of the harmonised grading and classification system in the region that will help guide and catalyse the marketing of beef animals, sheep and goats.

The suggested measures include regional live animal grading standards, linking enterprises in exporting and importing countries. and sha5ring experience on livestock value addition, among others.

COMESA said the intervention will present an opportunity to establish a region al market information system and catalogue of enterprises that can inform trde decision making even in the future.

And commenting on the development, COMESA Secretary Geeral Chileshe Kapwepwe said a uniform grading system will create opportunities for importers to make orders based on the common specifications of grades.

Kapwepwe said the current dynamics in the world economy coupled with rising demads, increased investment in the livestock sector and consumer preferences for animal source foods, provide opportunities for improved trade in livestock and livestock products among others.

She further called for reviewing, adopting, and institutionalising the propsed harmonised grading and classification system and other measures that will help to open up trade among member states and the rest of the world.

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COMESA livestock grading system