Fill the gaps
The farmers’ body believes that cross-border business can attain a better performance with strengthening of connections between input providers, farmers, traders, processors, and service providers.
In a move to prevail over the gaps, EAFF has created a database for organisations and companies involved in agribusiness and compiled a publication. This was launched it as the first Regional Value Chain Actors Directory.
The initiative is directed at ensuring that farmers and small and medium enterprises are able to establish links among themselves and with those in other value chains.
The directory come out of a partnership under which EAFF signed an agreement with Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to implement a project on integrating smallholder farmers into regional markets.
This has been implemented across the EAC where EAFF has 12 member farmer organisations who are direct partners of the project. Dan Kidega, East Africa Legislative Assembly (Eala) speaker, described the project as a key solution to the non-tariff barriers to agribusiness development.
He was presiding at the official launch of the directory, which was held in Arusha, Tanzania. “These are some of the development-focused initiatives EAFF has undertaken, as EALA, we pledge more support to initiatives directed at positively improving the lives of EAC citizens through boosting commercial agriculture,” he said.
Phillip Kiliro, EAFF president, noted that directory will be promoted by the members to build entrepreneurship capacity of farmers as well as other players in value chain systems. “We shall continue identifying gaps and deal with them depending on the available resources,” he said.
The publication, which will be updated annually, covers five prioriy areas in the first edition. These are maize, rice, cassava, potatoes, milk and beef, which are major commodities in agricultural trade in Eastern and Southern Africa. They have an estimated annual value of $50b, and comprise 75 per cent of the agricultural products.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor