Arusha, Tanzania, 25th August 2023 — The East African Business Council (EABC), in partnership with the TAHA, and GIZ Sequa GmbH under the Business Scouts Fund, has enhanced the capacity of 35 agri-businesses in contract farming. The workshop is part of the EABC-GIZ Sequa GmbH project under the Business Scouts Fund, titled “Enhancing Competitiveness of the Agri-food Industry and Mitigating the Impact of Global Crises to Improve Food Security in the EAC.”
During the opening session, Mr. Frank Dafa, EABC Manager of Policy & Standards, highlighted, “Global crises, such as COVID-19, Climate Change, and the Russia-Ukraine war, have disrupted global supply chains, leading to increased inflation. As Africa is a net cereal food importer, it has been particularly affected, posing a risk to food security.”
Mr. Dafa elaborated on the EABC-GIZ Business Scouts study on Investment Opportunities in the EAC Agriculture Value Chain, revealing the EAC’s vast potential to produce wheat grain, edible oil, leguminous plants, root tubers, and fertilizer. He emphasized that, through the EABC-GIZ Sequa GmbH project under the Business Scouts Fund, they aim to improve the skills and capacity of agri-actors in contract farming and EAC export procedures to increase agricultural productivity and access to markets.
The benefits of contract farming include expanded market access, improved production practices, risk-sharing mechanisms, and income stability for farmers.
Mrs. Martha Ndelekwa, the Chairperson of the Women Farmers’ Group in Ngulelo, Arusha, expressed her enthusiasm: “The contract farming training will enable our farmers’ group of 35 women to negotiate fair and mutually beneficial contracts with buyers of green peas.”
The capacity-building workshop empowered agri-actors, including farmers, processors, and buyers, with the knowledge and skills needed for effective engagement in contract farming arrangements. The discussions covered various aspects of contract farming, including negotiating equitable contracts, understanding the rights and responsibilities of each party, managing quality control, pricing mechanisms, and resolving disputes. The EAC economies with the highest economies of scale in the agricultural sectors are found in animal and animal products, dairy products, cereals, and food preparations. The EAC Aggregated Agricultural Intra-Industry Trade index declined from 0.92 in 2021 to 0.52 in 2022 due to a drop in trade of grains, oilseeds, fats, and oils caused by global shocks.