Africa should embrace technology and innovations to boost agro-production and, hence save the billions of dollars the continent spends on food imports, the Minister for Agriculture and Animal Resources has said.
Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana said use of advanced technology helps increase crop yields across the continent, a development that would help reduce imported foodstuff. Citing maize, the minister said the crop’s yield can increase by half if farmers planted hybrid maize seeds compared to using ordinary maize seeds. Read more. Source | New Times
Tanzania plans to introduce the first ever center of excellence on irrigation training to serve East African countries. The training centre at Oljoro with exemplary farm and man-made lake, is the brainchild of Arusha Technical College’s (ATC) irrigation engineering department. It was established to devise modern ways of farming that free farmers from extreme reliance on rains. Read more. Source | Daily News
Grain dealers and farmers have been urged to ensure quality and standards as part of efforts to support cross-border trade and also help develop the grain sector in the region.
Janet Ngombalu, the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) regional programme coordinator, said more efforts were required to create efficient, structured, inclusive and profitable grain trade in Rwanda and across the region, adding that this will also ensure quality and standards. Read more. Source | New Times
Agriculture supports directly and indirectly up to 75 per cent of the Kenyan population and generates almost all the country’s food requirements.
With reliance on rain-fed agricultural production in most parts of the country and infestation by notifiable insects in recent times, Kenya remains susceptible, with the pests putting the country at risk of growing food insecurity. Read more. Source | Daily Nation
Rwanda is prepared to improve grain quality and recover from the post-harvest losses it has been facing over the past few years with the construction of grain storage facility. The country has counted over 30 per cent post-harvest losses due to poor storage that has indirectly affected the quality of their crops and propelled food insecurity issues in the country.
The profits of the farmers have been cut short with the same challenge, which has demoralized their status in the individual and corporate level. The government has been left scratching its head on how to make the mountain plain as it seeks to feed its citizens and harness some revenue from the exportation of the crop produce. Read more. Source | The Exchange
Kenya will next month waive duty to allow millers to import maize from Uganda and Tanzania. Kenyan traders imported more than 77,500 tonnes of maize worth $31.2 million since January from its neighbours. This is the highest amount of imports in the past five years as drought and the effects of the fall armyworm manifest in the country’s staple.
Outgoing Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett said that the government would, through the Foreign Affairs Ministry, formalise importation of maize. Read more. Source | East Africa
Intra-regional trade in quality cereals and pulses is expected to increase following the launch of the gazetted East African standards of staple foods.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the nine standards for staple foods on Wednesday by East Africa Grain Council (EAGC) in Kampala, Mr Gerald Masila, executive director EAGC, said the lack of harmonised regional standards has for a long time barred trade as each East African country has been using its standards.
“We have lost out on a market position. I do not have a number right now. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
The quality of regional trade in cereals and pulses is expected to improve following the launch of newly gazetted standards for staple foods.
The harmonisation comes after a long period where each East African country used its own yardstick to determine quality of cereals including maize, millet, wheat, sorghum, rice and pulses such as beans and peas traded across borders.
Speaking during an interview on the sidelines of the launch of the new standards by the East Africa Grain Council (EAGC) in Kampala Wednesday, executive director Gerald Masila said the lack of uniform guidelines had served as a technical barrier to trade. Read more. Source | Business Daily
Tanzania hopes to increase its rice exports to Kenya and Rwanda by one-third this year, according to forecast by a trade tracker. According to the East Africa Cross-border Trade (EACT), the trade volume will be boosted by supplies from the August harvest and high carry-over stocks, which are likely to lower prices. The low rice prices are due to lower maize flour cost which is a substitute staple food to rice. Read more. Source | East African
Farmers of maize, sorghum and soya need not worry anymore about market for their produce as local fortified foods manufacturer is looking to double local sourcing of raw materials this year to increase production.
Officials at Africa Improved Foods (AIF), which is behind the Nootri range of fortified foods, say the firm is targeting to produce 45,000 tonnes this year, an increase from 35,000 produced last year as the firm targets the export market, according to Darshana Joshi, the AIF commercial director. Read more. Source | New Times