9.7 BILLION SET TO BOOST SMALLHOLDER FARMERS IN TANZANIA AND UGANDA
Last Updated: 2016-06-25
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DAR ES SALAAM, June 25 (NNN-ALLAFRICA) -- A charity organisation has received 3 million (about 9.7bn/-) grant from the British government to support 70,000 smallholder grain farmers in Tanzania and Uganda so that they can gain access to regional export markets.

The grant was provided to Farm Africa, through the Food Trade East and Southern Africa trade enhancement and promotion programme. According to Farm Africa Senior Programme Officer, Leochrista Aloyce, farmers would be linked to buyers in East Africa using an innovative online trading platform.

While Tanzania and Uganda produce a surplus of staple food, Kenya only grows enough maize to feed itself one year in every five.

Until recently, high tariffs on trade within East Africa meant that it was cheaper for Kenya to import crops from outside Africa. Therefore, the promotion of trade within East Africa is a significant step towards strengthening food security and creates opportunities for small holder farmers in these countries to access market.

The project by Farm Africa was launched in Dar es Salaam this week and according to Team Leader of Food Trade East and Southern Africa, Marc Van Uytvanck, it will not only help farmers to find the best contracts and sell their crops at higher value markets, but will also reduce post-harvest losses and stimulate higher production and improved quality of grains and beans.

"Storing grain and beans in properly managed, certified warehouses means that there will be a lot less chance of wastage including providing farmers with secure markets for their grain and beans," he said. -- NNN-ALLAFRICA