A Technical Steering Group will be formed to help strengthen Afghanistan’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Systems as part of the country’s ambitions for increased global exports of its fruit and vegetables.

CABI scientists Zakria Faizi and Habibullah Shaheer joined a SPS and Food Safety Seminar on March 30, 2021– held under the Building Afghanistan’s SPS Science-Based Systems Program (AfSPS) – to share their expertise on the importance of the World Trade Organisation’s SPS Agreement in agricultural trade and its role in protecting human, animal and plant health.

The seminar provided a venue for dialogue between the GoA and USG officials on Afghanistan’s SPS capacity building priorities. It was an opportunity to reflect on the importance of SPS measures and implementation of WTO standards, current Afghanistan’s SPS capacity gaps and needs, regulatory harmonization, and inter-ministerial coordination. including the role of the newly established Food and Drug Control Authority.

The AfSPS program, led by USDA, USAID, and CLDP and implemented by CABI in partnership with the Directorate of Plant Protection and Quarantine(PPQD), Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and Texas A&M University, aims to increase agriculture-led growth and trade through enhanced SPS Systems in Afghanistan.

For CABI, the objective of the AfSPS project is to enhance inter-ministerial and public collaboration and coordination on SPS measures with a focus on increasing adoption and implementation of SPS measures and systematic monitoring and management of SPS risks among agri-businesses.

Proper grading, handling and packing is needed – as part of a range of SPS measures – for peaches which are scarcely grown in most parts of Afghanistan (Credit: CABI).

The project workplan includes online training courses which support the effort to integrate SPS good principles in trade along agricultural value chains in Afghanistan. CABI will help to deliver prioritized SPS courses identified in baseline study.

Afghanistan produces a variety of high-quality fresh fruits and dried tree nuts which have good potential for expanding export to international markets. However, there is a dire need to enhance the country’s SPS system to meet the requirements for international trading.

The absence of a strong SPS system can cause trade barriers for exporters and producers due to the reduction of consumers’ trust in Afghan produce leading to rejection of shipments from Afghanistan and the decline of Afghan’s agriculture production system.

To trade successfully at an international level, preventative approaches along the food value chain need to be adopted. These preventative approaches require a quarantine network and laboratories where the country’s agricultural produce can be inspected for pests and diseases based on SPS measures.

CABI has already implemented projects and programmes that have beneficial impact in Afghanistan. The CABI-led Plantwise programme is global effort which helps farmers lose less of what they grow to pests and diseases. Working closely with national agricultural advisory services, the programme has established 162 plant clinics, trained 333 plant doctors, and published 33 scientific fact sheets since 2012.

Other projects have included Integrated Crop Management in High-Value Crops (2007-2008), Training of Marginalized Farmers in Kunduz (2010), Rice value chain development in Takhar (2016-17) and Integrated Pest Management in Apple in Baglan (2009-10 funded by Aga Khan Foundation).

Additional information

Main image: A fruit seller in Afghanistan’s National Fruit Market (Credit: CABI).

Project page

Learn more about how CABI is working in partnership with the Plant Protection and Quarantine Department (PPQD), the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) and Texas A&M University – as part of a project funded by USAID and USDA-FAS – to help improve sanitary and phytosanitary compliance in Afghanistan.

CABI Membership

Afghanistan became a member country of CABI in 2018, built on a long-term collaboration over the past decades. MAIL is the National Implementing Agency. Find out more about CABI Membership here.

Relevant news stories

‘Afghanistan’s ability to trade internationally to be boosted by an enhanced Sanitary and Phytosanitary system.’

CABI welcomes Afghanistan as its 49th member country

Leave a Reply

Related News & Blogs

A regulatory framework for Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures to ensure food safety and expand trade opportunities in Afghanistan

Trade and food standards have a long tradition. Legislation for food safety has always been of supreme importance even in past eras of time. The foundations of today’s food control are based on establishing organizations and institutes to monitor food…

15 December 2020