SA, China make progress in phytosanitary cooperation

Monday, September 10, 2018

South Africa and China have made good progress since the signing of the memorandum of understanding in the field of sanitary and phytosanitary matters in the year 2000.

The South African Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana, recently met with Vice Minister Zhang Jiwen of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) to discuss bilateral cooperation on sanitary and phytosanitary matters between China and South Africa.

The meeting, which took place on the sidelines of the Forum on Africa-China Cooperation (FOCAC), was aimed at improving market access for agriculture, forestry and fisheries products.

To date, both countries have been able to gain market access for various agricultural products. In 2017, South Africa gained market access for beef exports to China and in 2018, South Africa gained market access for lucerne export to China.

During the meeting, Zokwana reported that South Africa is currently compiling a list of new and compliant export facilities to export beef and lucerne to China.

He said the new facilities will have a strong focus on smallholder farmers and businesses. 

“The objective is to broaden participation of smallholders in accessing markets and ensuring the continued revitalisation of agriculture and agro-processing value chain,” Zokwana said.

The compliance of the new establishments will be subject to further assessments by China before permission is granted for exports, the Minister said.

Zokwana and Zhang committed to continue cooperating on market access matters. They resolved that South Africa will host the 7th Sanitary and Phytosanitary Cooperation meeting in November 2018.  The meeting is expected to discuss animal quarantine, plant quarantine and food safety matters in the quest to facilitate trade in agriculture, forestry and fisheries products.

Zokwana and Zhang also urged technical experts to work on priority lists for sector trade. –