Zambia to export carrots to USA
The USA Department of Agriculture (USDA) regional advisor Kevin Smith based in Nairobi, Kenya sent a message of notification to the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) secretariat that Zambia was no longer seen as a risky country of origin. “Zambia’s Pest Risk Assessments (PRAs) for exporting baby carrots and baby corn to the United States of America have been completed and the U.S. regulations have been amended to allow the exports of the two products to America starting Wednesday 24th May 2006,” the notification reads. Zambian horticultural producers who were unable to export fresh products to the United States due to the preference by that market of packaged products comprising a number of vegetables can now export their products in single packs consisting of snow peas, baby carrots and baby corn. The development is a milestone achievement given that the Zambian authorities have been pursuing the issue since 1998. In 2002, COMESA Secretary General Erastus Mwencha made a presentation to the U.S Congress on the importance of fast-tracking the PRAs in order to allow COMESA’s agriculture-based economies benefit more from AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act). Following the presentation, the U.S. government increased their PRA support to various COMESA countries including Zambia. The first fresh product that was accepted in the United States from Zambia was snow peas.