Entebbe, Uganda, 12-13 November 2010
The Rural Development Briefing in Eastern Africa on “Linking small-farmers to local and regional markets in staple foods” was held in Entebbe, Uganda from the 12th to –the 13th November 2010. It discussed the challenges and opportunities in the process of linking the smallholder farmers to the local market as a strategy for improving investment and agricultural growth in the region: the role of an improved policy environment for a better regional competitiveness, the value added strategies and the role of ICT’s in this context, and the ways to strengthen food security through regional exchanges. The target group was more than 100 policy makers from Eastern Africa and other African countries.
Friday 12th November
9h00-9h30 Introductory remarks: Mrs. Emiliana Tembo, COMESA Director of Gender, Isolina Boto, Head of CTA’s Brussels Office [Power Point - fr], Philip Kiriro, President of the East African Farmers Federation, Cris Muyunda, CEO, ACTESA
9h30-13h00 Panel 1 - Improved policy environment for better regional competitiveness
This session will look at regional integration as an important strategy for widening markets and creating economies of scale within the COMESA region. The establishment of harmonized policies and systems has the potential to increases trade flows and to promote regional food security across the region and amongst regions. The new ACTESA initiative is aimed at supporting food security in the region.
-Regional integration: issues and challenges for the agriculture in the region, Emiliana Tembo, Director of Gender, COMESA
-Constraints and opportunities in local and regional markets, Stephen Muchiri, CEO, Eastern African Farmers Federation (EAFF) [Presentation]
-Policy environment and regional new initiatives: the case of ACTESA, Cris Muyunda, CEO, ACTESA [Presentation]
-Market Influences and Problems/Barriers in Agricultural Marketing, Ian Goggin, Structured Trade Specialist, USAID Competitiveness and Trade Expansion Programme – COMPETE [Executive Summary] [Presentation]
14h00-17h00 Panel 2 – Value added strategies and the role of ICT’s
There is a need to foster intra regional trade and value added markets in grains, promoting purchases from smallholders and increase the integration of producers in regional markets as to meet food security. The increasing availability and affordability of new information technologies offers a potential for farmers access to local and regional markets.
-Fostering the adoption of Regional Market Information tools and mobile technologies by smallholder farmers in regional trade and agroprocessing , Fostina Mani, Vice Chair & Kenya Director, Eastern Africa Grain Council [Presentation]
-The benefits of warehouse receipt system for farmers, Alex Rwego, Manager, Uganda Commodity Exchange [Presentation]
-Contributing to Linking small –farmers to local and regional markets in vegetable marketing and trade , Ronia Tanyongana, AVRDC, The world vegetable center. [Presentation]
Saturday 13th November
Panel 3 – The way forward: ways to strengthen food security through regional exchanges
This session will share experiences amongst the various stakeholders on the support needed in terms of improved and expanded market facilities in staple foods; increased integration of producers in regional commercial markets; expanded employment opportunities in rural areas and upgraded skills in value-addition.
-Nelson Juma Sumba, Cereal Growers Association (CGA), Kenya [Presentation]
-Tayebwa Bernard, Manager, Agribusiness Unit, Uganda Cooperative Alliance Ltd (UCA) [Presentation]
-Willigis O. Mbogoro, Executive Secretary, Tanzania Federation of Cooperatives Ltd
-Rose Ndung’u, Regional Manager, GrainPro Kenya [Presentation]
-Joseph Nkandu, Executive director, NUCAFE [Presentation]
-Grace Mijiga Mhango, Director, Women in Agribusiness in Sub-Saharan Africa (WASAA), [Presentation]
After presentations from the private sector, we will have an exchange of experiences in plenary.