Nairobi, Kenya, East African Business Council (EABC), in partnership with Sequa GmbH under the Business Scouts Fund, commenced the National Capacity Building Workshops on Contract Farming in Agri-Value chains. The workshop marks the continuous effort of the Private Sector in enhancing the capacity of the agri-value chain actors in addressing the challenges associated with food security in the Region.
The East African Community (EAC) has faced considerable challenges, including the impact of the pandemic, global economic shocks, and climate change. During the height of the pandemic, only Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) saw improvements in their scores, with 37 and 40.7, respectively. On average, 30% of Sub-Saharan African people experience hunger, compared to less than 25% in the EAC Region. In Africa, 35 million people were affected by hunger in 2020, compared to 2019 before the COVID-19 outbreak.
In light of these challenges and following a needs analysis, EABC, in collaboration with the Business Scout Fund, identified EAC Export Procedures and Contract Farming as pivotal areas for capacity building.
Mr. Lordesturs Gordon, a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture, and Livestock Development in Kenya expressed his gratitude to the East African Business Council (EABC) and Kenya Private Sector Association (KEPSA) for organizing the workshop and urged all stakeholders to utilize the knowledge gained to build a resilient economy by enhancing investment in agricultural value chains.
Dr. Agatha Thuo, Managing Director of The Agriculture Sector Network (ASNET) highlighted that 80% of producers are small-scale farmers who lack the knowledge to effectively market their products due to information asymmetry. She further emphasized that agriculture contributes 23% to the GDP and 65% to all exports, underscoring the importance of strengthening the Agri-Value chain.
Ms.Edda Otieno, Junior advisor at Business Scout for Development in Kenya GiZ, expressed her gratitude to the business community for their active participation in the National Contract Farming in Agri-Value chain initiative. She assured continued support to the Private Sector Associations on matters related to Agri-Value chains, digital transformation, matchmaking, trade fairs etc to ensure a sustainable supply in the value chain in a bid to mitigate risks associated with global supply disruptions.
Mr. Gift Gabriel, EABC Trade Information Officer, conveyed his heartfelt appreciation on behalf of Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, CEO of the East African Business Council (EABC) to the participants of the National Workshop on contract farming to Agri-Value chain that was organized on the ground by Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA). He also sent his appreciation to the German Development Cooperation (GiZ) through SEQUA for their invaluable support in implementing the project titled ‘Enhancing the Competitiveness of the Agri-Food Industry and Mitigating the Impact of Global Crises to Improve Food Security in the EAC Region.’
The workshop convened 35 Agri-Value chain stakeholders who were trained on principals, processes and best practices of the Contract Farming.