In 2016, a much-anticipated policy change meant that the once restrictive, high trade tariffs within eastern Africa were removed. It might not have made the news, but this shift in policy means that countries like Kenya are no longer forced to rely on expensive imports from outside of Africa.
This opens up a world of opportunity for smallholder farmers in Tanzania and Uganda. Unfortunately, a lack of proper storage facilities means that surplus crops like rice, maize and beans can easily spoil. Limited market access also restricts sales, and farmers are often forced to sell their crops locally for poor prices.
To counter this, Farm Africa will work with 70,000 farmers across both countries. Together we will make the most of the new trade opportunities by improving post-harvest management and giving farmers access to moisture-controlled storage warehouses.
This will stop their crops from spoiling and ensure crops meet the standards required for sale.
We will also help to make sure farmers can sell their produce for a good price by helping them work together to sell in bulk, and linking them to new cross-border markets using innovative digital platforms.
Farming is a growing industry for many African countries, and this new focus on regional trade has the power to transform the lives of smallholder farmers.
It’s not just about profit. It’s about livelihoods. With a sustainable business, farmers across Uganda and Tanzania can lift themselves, and their whole communities, out of poverty.
Together we are helping eastern Africa move one step closer to prosperity.