UK gives small hold farmers 3 million Euros

08.08.2016

The money is being channeled through Farm Africa's Food Trade East and Southern Africa trade enhancement and promotion program, according to Marc Van Uytvanck, Team Leader of FoodTrade East and Southern Africa.

A total of 70,000 small holder farmers in Uganda and Tanzania are to sell their grains  to the regional market thanks to a grant by the UK government worth 3 million Euros. It will help them maintain the quality to meet market demands.

The money is being channeled through Farm Africa's Food Trade East and Southern Africa trade enhancement and promotion program, according to Marc Van Uytvanck, Team Leader of FoodTrade East and Southern Africa.

This was contained in a statement from FarmAfrica.

Under the program, small hold farmers in both countries will be taught how to store grains which include rice, maize and beans in local aggregation centers that are linked to certified warehouses.

Grain in the ware house will later be linked to buyers through an on line trading platform called G-soko, in addition to other market options that can easily be accessed by farmers, explained Van Uytvanck.

He explained that the G-Soko platform unlocks access to finance, by allowing farmers to use warehouse receipts as collateral for loans.

"By enabling smallhold farmers to sell their grain collectively, and build links with private sector grain traders, farmers will earn a better wage, but having better access to buyers will motivate them to grow high yielding and better quality grains," he added.

Small holder farmers, who grow around 80 to 90% of staple foods in the region, are faced with challenges such as lack of market, lack of interest by bigger buyers in products produced by individual farmers.

Other challenges include high interest rates, expensive agro input such as improved seed and fertilizers and unreliable rainfall and lack of storage facilities which lead to losses at harvest time, further reducing the market value.

"Therefore supporting farmers to improve post-harvest practices, access post-harvest technology and improve storage practices and facilities will increase the amount of produce available for sale with required standards," Uytvanck explained.

Food Trade East and Southern Africa is a five year trade enhancement and promotion program focusing on staple food crops.

 Funded by the UK Government and managed by Development Alternatives Inc (DAI), it is operational in nine East and Southern African countries:

These include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Malawi.


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