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Unlocking agricultural trade in the EAC

Published on May 28, 2015

Agriculture accounts for almost 30% of East Africa's GDP, employing more than 60% of the region's population. Staple foods is a major component of agricultural trade, accounting for over 75% of all agricultural trade in the region and valued at over $50 billion a year (see the infographic below).

However, the full potential of staple foods trade is yet to be realized. Much of the trade is informal and disintegrated markets leave gaps in demand and supply - production varies widely and farmers with surplus do not always reach consumers in areas of food deficit.  

The East Africa Trade and Investment Hub through its agricultural component is working to further the mission of the Feed the Future presidential initiative to:

  • Increase agricultural productivity and generate opportunities for economic growth and trade in developing countries
  • Boost the harvests and incomes of rural smallholder farmers, who are the key to unlocking agricultural growth and transforming economies
  • Improve agricultural research and development and get existing, proven technologies to more people, and
  • Increase resilience to prevent recurrent crises and help communities better withstand and bounce back from crises when they do happen