In September and October, the Hub partnered with the Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC) to host regional meetings in Entebbe and Zanzibar to discuss harmonizing East African Standards (EASC/TC/014) for cereals and pulses. These meetings facilitated the review and revision of existing East African Community (EAC) standards for sorghum grains, finger millet, green grams, composite flour and soy flour by the EAC Secretariat and members of national technical committees. The meetings are the first activities under a Hub grant to EAGC which is also set to support the development of an EAC Guideline for sampling and testing aflatoxin levels. The adoption of the revised standards and guidelines are expected to reduce trade failures and ease the movement of grains from surplus to deficit regions in the EAC.
In 2016, the Hub partnered with the EAGC and the EAC Secretariat on the revision of the nine staple grain standards (wheat flour, maize flour, milled maize, dry beans, wheat grains, millet flour, sorghum flour, milled rice and dry soybean). This process was completed in December 2017 with the gazettement of the nine revised standards under EAC Legal Notice Number EAC/149/2017. Two sampling and testing standards and guidelines were also developed as part of the previous grant.
Despite attempts to improve the enabling environment for cross-border trade, challenges persist, making continued efforts to improve grain standards and food safety testing protocols necessary. One area ripe for improvement is the sampling and testing process for aflatoxin levels in staple grains. Inefficient aflatoxin testing delays border crossing times and leads to double testing and lack of transparency in the quality of produce being traded in the region. Harmonizing aflatoxin sampling and testing processes in the EAC will enable regulation of the levels of Aflatoxin in grain.
Harmonization of these East African Standards will increase the flow of quality grain commodities from surplus to deficit areas, eliminate unnecessary barriers to trade in the region and promote confidence among regional trading partners of the quality standards in staple foods.
Rwanda’s agricultural exports generated over $515.9 million (over Rwf447 billion) in a period of one year from July 2017 to June 2018, representing an increase of 44.73 per cent compared to $356.5 million (over Rwf316.8 billion) generated in the same period in 2016-2017. Read more. Source | New Times
A Kenyan greenhouse farming technology company emerged a clear winner of early stage category during the just concluded Pitch AgriHack 2018 in Kigali Rwanda.
Illuminum Greenhouses Kenya, were rewarded grants of between €5000 and €7500. ‘Pitch AgriHack 2018’ is a competition organised by Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) – a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU) – to support young agricultural entrepreneurs (agripreneurs) build viable businesses and boost innovation for a more sustainable agricultural sector. Read more. Source | The Exchange
Farmers have failed to commercialise agriculture due to lack of knowledge on how to access credit facilities, according to Mr Stephen Mukitale, Buliisa County MP. Speaking at a farmers’ workshop in Kampala, Mr Mukitale said commercial agriculture continues to be a dream for many Ugandans because they lack knowledge on how to access agricultural funding sources such as the Agricultural Credit Facility, under Bank of Uganda. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Logistics does not operate in isolation, according to a cross-section of policy experts, sector actors and industry analysts Daily Monitor spoke to. Logistics and transport sectors naturally feed into each other. Typically, logistics is related to the movement of physical goods and information. Efficient logistics connects firms to domestic and international markets through reliable supply chain networks. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Though Africa has the world’s youngest population with 60 per cent being under 35 years old, Africa Development Bank (AfDB) statistics show that the average age of farmers in Africa is 60 years.
This is with 420 million youth aged 15-35 and this segment of the population is expected to double to 840 million by 2040.Farmers are also less educated, with younger and more educated Africans leaving rural areas, and moving to cities and urban areas. Read more. Source | New Times
Africa’s agriculture productivity is way too low, and has stayed low when other regions have moved ahead very quickly, yet it can use research and technologies to improve farm productivity.
The comment was made Wednesday by Jennifer Blanke, Vice President of African Development Bank (AfDB), during an interview with The New Times at the sidelines of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF2018) being held in Kigali. Read more. Source | New Times
President Paul Kagame has challenged African youth to adjust their mindsets on agriculture and increase involvement in the sector. Kagame was speaking yesterday during the Presidential panel at the African Green Revolution Forum.
Kagame said that to make agriculture more productive on the continent, among the necessary adjustments include a change of mindset among the youth in regards to agriculture to make it a career of choice. Read more. Source | New Times
Online logistics firm Sendy says Kenya could generate thousands of jobs as well as improve quality of food if farmers and individuals ventured into agro-processing. Sendy CEO Alloys Meshack said establishment of cottage food industries and private processing firms across Kenya could see new specialised jobs created that will sustain demand for ready transport.
Mr Meshack spoke when he handed over Sh500,000 towards the upcoming Africa Food Industry and Excellence awards to be held at Safari park this Friday. Read more. Source | Business Daily
Last week, a number of African leaders were meeting in Kigali, for the Africa Green Revolution Forumb (AGRF) and to discuss how to use agriculture as a way to transform African economies faster. This year the big question was: Will this forum be different from others or will it turn out to be just another talk show?
Yet there is always a frisson of excitement when leaders meet; a sense of opportunity hangs in the air that makes us want to believe that this could be the start of real change. Agricultural transformation by definition is all about change, but whether it is going to happen, particularly in Africa, rests in the hands of leaders who must paint the vision, and then make that vision reality. It is vital that agriculture is seen as an instrument to help leaders achieve their political ambitions and to drive economic goals. If not, agricultural-led economic transformation will remain a pipedream. Read more. Source | New Times