GITEGA, 14 February 2021 – “Made in Burundi” goods are guaranteed greater access to the larger COMESA market after significant improvements in quality.
Although Burundi is one of the 19 member countries of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), it could not export all products to all member countries of the bloc.
Some of the laboratory equipment provided under the COMESA Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM) include a flame photometer, a UV spectrophotometer, a pH meter, and a fiber analyzer.
The other pieces of equipment include a distillation unit for protein analysis, a sugar analyzer, an alcohol analyzer, an oxygen and a carbon dioxide analyzer now used to assist with Standardization and Quality Control (BBN) in Burundi.
The laboratory equipment makes it possible for in-country product certification.
Previously, certification done abroad was too expensive, especially for products with residues such as tetracycline, chloramphenicol in milk and aflatoxins in other milk products.
A growing number of local milk producers can now certify and earmark their products for export to COMESA member countries, whereas previously only small numbers of the very rich farmers could fulfill all the quality control requirements.
The upgrade in laboratory gear was financed by the European Union for an estimated total of $19.39 million (16 million euros), according to the Burundian ministry of finance.
The 19 member states of COMESA are Burundi, Comoros, Congo Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, eSwatini (ex-Swaziland), Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.