KENYA – The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) has secured a U.S$2 million grant from TradeMark Africa to bolster regional trade and enhance food security

The funding is part of a larger U.S$75 million five-year partnership under the Economic Recovery and Reform Activity (ERRA) program by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), executed by TradeMark Africa and funded by Feed the Future.

This collaboration aims to eradicate trade barriers for grain exporters in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, focusing on export value chains encompassing maize, beans, millet, sorghum, and rice. By tapping into food grain production and export, the initiative aims to create job opportunities, especially for women and youth.

David Beer, CEO of TradeMark Africa, expressed confidence in the collaboration’s potential to boost grain exports within the region. He outlined innovative strategies, including the establishment of Grain Business Hubs (G-Hubs) operated by farmers leveraging technology to enhance grain quality and drive trade.

Trade barriers facing grain exporters include challenges in meeting international standards, low production rates, poor harvest management, and climatic factors.

These hurdles contribute to the low competitiveness of staples in regional markets, resulting in reduced cross-border trade, production deficits, and postharvest losses that jeopardize food security in the region.

EAGC plans to support over 80 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to meet Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and Standards Quality Infrastructure (SQI) requirements. This support is vital for the health of animals and plants traded, as well as for maintaining quality, health, safety systems, and environmental conservation.

Gerald Masila, EAGC’s Executive Director, emphasized practical and impactful solutions, stating, “By fortifying grain business hubs and enhancing the capacities of SMEs, we are building a foundation for sustained growth.”

Additionally, the initiative aims to establish an information hub to act as a resource center, facilitating informed decision-making and driving policy changes positively impacting food security and trade dynamics.

TradeMark Africa, established in 2010 as an Aid for Trade organization, focuses on growing intra-African trade and increasing Africa’s share in global trade. The collaboration comes at a crucial time for East Africa, which faces disruptions in the global supply chain for wheat, maize, rice, barley, and sunflower due to the collapse of the Russia-Ukraine Black Sea grain export agreement, leaving nations vulnerable to expensive produce.

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