Eastern Africa Grain Council launches project to strengthen value chain trade across region

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Eastern Africa Grain Council launches project to strengthen value chain trade across region
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The Eastern Africa Grain Council(EAGC) has launched a three-year project that will strengthen competitiveness in export-oriented staple food value chains in the East African region

Funded under the USAID Economic Recovery and Resilience Activities (ERRA) program, the project will focus on regional trade through key trade corridors in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.

The project will be implemented by Trademark Africa (TMA) together with the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC).

“In this program we are going to address various challenges that make it difficult for export of staple foods. One of these challenges is the issue of aggregation where we will be able to ensure production of sufficient quantities, but will also work on the issue of quality where we will address standards and aflatoxins to ensure that production is done using technology,” Gerald Masila, the Executive Director of EAGC said.

He said the project will also help address the aflatoxin challenge through handling of grains from the farm, to the storage facility to the market to ensure it is not contaminated.

“We will also be providing solutions around trade finance because one of the challenges making it difficult for farmer groups and SMEs to export is lack of trade financing where they need finance to be able to aggregate the trade output.”

He explained that the project will also help to create employment by strengthening value chains so that they can employ more people who have specifically not been in the agricultural sector.

Masila said the project will also be looking at exporting cereals outside Africa in India and Pakistan.

Anna Nambooze, the Country Director for the Uganda –South Sudan program at Trademark Africa (TMA) said they are joining the project as facilitators under their bigger program of the economic recovery financed by USAID.

“We have co-created the program together with EAGC to be able to increase the staples trade, clean it up, increase productivity and the general export from Uganda to the rest of the region. We hope to see increased quantities of trade in staples within the region but also see more organized and formalized trade,” Nambooze said.

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