Trade and markets
 
©FAO/Alberto Conti

Dialogue: Developing a coherent national policy framework on agricultural trade

27 July 2017, Lusaka, Zambia

As part of the FMM project Trade related capacity development in Eastern and Southern Africa, FAO, in collaboration with EIF and ECDPM, has engaged in an assessment of the agriculture and trade priorities, overarching policy frameworks, and their underlying policymaking processes, in Zambia. The overall aim of the assessment was to contribute to the development of a coherent national policy framework on agricultural trade in order to better align sectoral policy interventions and promote strategic use of public and private resources. 

The workshop was organized to validate the findings of the analytical report, agree on priority areas for sectoral coordination, and identifying actionable next steps for addressing the priority areas. The workshop was attended by thirty participants representing a broad range of stakeholders, including Ministries of Agriculture; Commerce, Trade and Industry; Finance, National Development Planning, and a number of related government agencies, private sector associations, research institutions, and donor representatives.  

Participants pointed to the need to focus on policy implementation rather than policy formulation processes alone. In this regard, the following key recommendations were endorsed:

  Better reflection of agricultural trade priorities in national plans and policies e.g. Trade Policy; the Export Strategy, and the Seventh National Development Plan (7th NDP) Implementation Plan, which are all currently under development.  
  Strengthening small scale trade facilitation, through information sharing (trade portal), establishment of single window systems and trade information desks.
  Improving trade policy predictability through review of Control of Good Act, Agriculture Marketing Bill, development of farm register and data gathering techniques, as well as consultations with private sector before trade restrictions are imposed.
  Coordinating implementation of value chain interventions between MoA, MFL and MCTI, and its relevant agencies and industry associations.
  Strengthening national infrastructure and facilitating implementation of harmonized and/ or mutual recognized SPS standards for inputs and outputs.