EABC AT THE LAUNCH OF THE EAC REGIONAL RICE PLATFORM

EABC AT THE LAUNCH OF THE EAC REGIONAL RICE PLATFORM

In April 2018, the EAC Secretariat with support from GIZ/CARI held a first regional rice forum that bring on board public and private rice stakeholders to discuss matters related to rice sub sectors in the region.  A number of observations were made on different issues impacting on rice competitiveness in the areas of production and productivity, trade Integration, policy and institutional arrangements and coordination of support towards rice value chain were identified.

 

Amongst them was, lack of adequate coordination of the rice sub-sector at the regional level, and therefore, the forum recommended to the Sectoral Council of Agriculture and Food Security on the need to establish a regional Rice Platform to enhance coordination. Subsequently, the 11th Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security held in June 2018 adopted the above recommendation and directed EAC Secretariat and Partner States to establish a regional rice stakeholder platform to enhance coordination of matters related to rice sub-sector development in the region.

The East African Business Council took part in the launch of the EAC Regional Rice Platform (ERRP) on 23rd January, 2020 at Nairobi Safari Club, Nairobi-Kenya.

Observations

  • There is a need to fast track the development of the EAC rice development strategy.
  • The use of available technology to verify the origin of rice under EAC rules of origin is not adequately utilized.
  • There is lack of coordinated policy advocacy, value chain information sharing, cross learning and resource mobilization to support rice value chain development.
  • Majority of smallholder rice farmers in the EAC region have not benefited from the existing intra-regional trade.
  • The existing potential for rice development within the region is not fully exploited.
  • Non-Tariff Barriers remain a hindrance to the EAC intra-regional rice trade.
  • There is inadequate use of ICT/digital solutions in rice value chain development in the EAC region.
  • ERRP meeting once a year is inadequate to effectively discharge its mandate.

Recommendations  

  • EAC Secretariat to expedite development of the EAC rice strategy.
  • EAC Secretariat to popularize the use of available technology (e.g. DNA Min-ION) to enhance traceability in line with the EAC rules of origin.
  • EAC Secretariat and Partner States through ERRP to strengthen coordination, policy advocacy, awareness raising, value chain information sharing, cross learning and resource mobilization to support rice value chain development.
  • ERRP to foster an all-inclusive rice intra-regional trade (adoption of value chain approach).
  • EAC Secretariat and Partner States through ERRP to identify and promote development opportunities and competitiveness of rice produced in the region.
  • ERRP to scale up advocacy for removal of Non-Tariff Barries in the EAC intra-regional rice trade.
  • ERRP to promote the use of ICT/digital solutions in rice value chain development in the EAC region.
  • ERRP meetings to be convened at least twice a year for effective discharge of its mandate.