The Hub works to substantially increase intra-regional and global trade of agricultural commodities directly contributing to economic growth and consequently to the attainment of Feed the Future outcomes. As part of the latter, the Hub’s activities under the Agriculture and Agribusiness component will contribute to increasing the access, availability and utilization of African-grown staple foods in regionally integrated markets.
The Hub works across all East African Community (EAC) countries with the overall goal of doubling intra-regional trade in staple foods by the end of the project. To date, the Hub has supported an increase of 36 percent in value ($176 million) and 25 percent in volume (491 million kg.) of staple foods traded within the EAC and facilitated transactions worth more than $20.3 million.
At the policy level, the Hub has supported the EAC Partner States to expedite the ratification of the EAC sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) Protocol, which Kenya ratified in June 2016. The Hub also supported the EAC Partner States to draft the revision of East African Standards of Staple Foods and the SPS bill, both expected to be enacted in 2017.The latter included developing the capacity of specialists from the national seed authorities to apply COMESA regulations and thereby ease seed trade, as well as work with informal cross-border traders to identify interventions to address key constraints to small-scale grain trade.
In the area of technology and innovation, the Hub contributed to the introduction of six productivity-enhancing technologies in the agribusiness and dairy industries in Kenya and Ethiopia to enhance competiveness in selected value chains.
Related Blogs and Resources
Published on January 17, 2018
Uganda is mainly an agricultural country, whose biggest population (80 per cent) live in rural areas and depend on subsistence agriculture.
Consequently, many economic and policy experts have urged government to increase its annual budget allocation to for meaningful social economic transformation to take place from the current 7 per cent to 15 per cent of Gross Domestic Product as recommended by the Maputo Declaration of 2003. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Published on January 08, 2018
The Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources has unveiled a new initiative aimed at addressing the challenges faced by farmers. Under the initiative, the ministry will partner with universities in research to help find solutions to the sector’s problems, Fulgence Nsengiyumva, the State Minister in charge of agriculture, has said.
According to the minister, universities and other higher learning institutions should be at the forefront of efforts geared at addressing problems in the sector. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on December 20, 2017
The rapidly transforming agrifood systems have the potential to drive the expansion of youth employment and broadbased economic development in East Africa.
Agriculture is widely perceived by youth as an unappealing, traditional, labour intensive farm activity not as a potentially high-profit business activity. However, according to African Economic Outlook, agriculture sector currently involves a spectrum of new opportunities on and off the farm connected to marketing, processing, packaging and food service, in addition to on-farm production. Read more. Source | Daily News
Published on December 14, 2017
The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) issued a Communique on the Regional Grain Trade Facilitation Forum held in Kigali, Rwanda in November 2017. The forum brought together over 90 sellers and buyers of rice and other grain commodities from the Eastern and Southern Africa nations.
The objective of the Grain Trade Forum was to create a forum for networking among the grain stakeholders in the EAC region, with a focus on strengthening regional trade by creating market opportunities that offer enhanced opportunities for trade and investment and by engaging policy makers and private sector actors for reducing barriers to grain trade, thus simulating increased productivity and trade in the grain sector.
Published on November 09, 2017
A new application designed to provide farmers with timely information on climate change, crops, livestock and diseases affecting them for informed decision making has been tested for effectiveness.
The application will provide data on state of weather, amount of rain and soil humidity, and livestock performance to ensure better farm management and productivity, as well as market information on produce.
It is intended to reduce the effects of climate change, and diseases on crops, so that farmers get yield in a sustainable manner, according to developers. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on October 25, 2017
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has called for global support for Africa’s young farmers and “agripreneurs”, highlighting how agribusiness is the answer to the continent’s youth employment.
In collaboration with the Initiative for Global Development, the Association of African Agricultural Professionals in the Diaspora, Michigan State University, Iowa State University, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, the AfDB brought together stakeholders to discuss how to expand economic opportunities for Africa’s youth throughout the agricultural value chain, from lab to farm to fork. Read more. Source | New Times
Published on October 04, 2017
In the midst of the ongoing political noise we often miss bits of critical news which is often loaded with huge developmental potential. Like last week when a foreign investor, African Plantation Capital (APC), announced that they are setting up large-scale bamboo plantations in Kenya targeting various commercial applications. This is agro-forestry which can be mainstreamed into a significant economic sub-sector.
Bamboos have multiple potential economic uses while increasing forest cover for better hydrology and an enhanced carbon sink. Bamboos can do well in marginal areas thus minimising conflicts with national food production priorities, and they are self-reproducing after harvesting. Read more. Source | Business Daily
Published on September 20, 2017
Kenyan farmers are now able to protect their grain harvests from weevil attacks at a low cost thanks to Donatus Njoroge’s bio-pesticide innovation, the Molepse bio-resource. Donatus, who took second place in the Hub-sponsored East Africa Postharvest Technologies Competition 2017 (EAPTC2017), produced the innovative bio-pesticide, which has repellent and toxic capabilities to kills pests that come into contact with it in less than 5 minutes. It is produced from four different plant materials.
Donatus first produced the pesticide technology in 2015. He has since tested it with over one hundred farmers and the results have been impressive. It has enabled them reduce pest infestation and take control of health issues associated with synthetic pesticides. The harvesting, drying and extraction of the oils takes approximately one week; effectiveness of the applied oils starts immediately.
Another innovator flying the Kenyan flag high is Samuel Rigua. Samuel, a finalist in the Hub-supported Young Innovators in Agribusiness Competition 2017 (YIAC2017), has developed a carbon-neutral fertilizer and soil conditioner using locally available rice husks. His technology, Safi Sarvi®, increases crop yields by 30% and annually removes at least 5.4 t of CO2 equivalent from the atmosphere for every hectare of land it is applied to. The fertilizer also lowers soil acidity and aids retention of soil nutrients and moisture, reducing irrigation by 15%.