Agriculture, Food Trade & Security Working Group
Did you know that outside of EAC and SADC, approximately 13 million hectares of land are devoted to maize production annually in the COMESA region?
Yet, yields across the region remain low. On average COMESA member countries achieve maize yields of only 2 metric tons per hectare, compared to feasible yields of 5 metric tons per hectare. This low productivity contributes to a situation where overall production of maize remains well below total regional demand and Regional Value chain are generally constrained:
At production level there is:
Low productivity; Poor output grades and standards; Inaccessibility to markets and support services like warehouses; Inaccessibility to financing; Low capacity and lack or low inclusiveness in sub-sector platforms
At trader level, constraints include:
Poor grades and standards that lead to low returns; Unpredictable government regulatory interventions; Inaccessibility to markets and support services like warehouses; Inaccessibility to financing; Low capacity and lack or low inclusiveness in sub-sector platforms
At milling level constraints include:
Poor quality grain; Un-predictable government regulatory interventions; Inaccessibility to markets and support services like warehouses; Inaccessibility to financing,
At exporting/importing level, constraints include:
Poor quality grain; un-predictable government regulatory interventions; Inaccessibility to markets due to slow implementation of regional bloc protocols and support services like warehouses; and inaccessibility to financing
As of 2012/13,
- The region imported over 2.5 million metric tons of maize at a cost of over $500 million In value terms, COMESA’s overall import bill on cereals stands at over $4.5billlion with a paltry 5% going to African farmers
- The impact of this spending were it utilized on intraregional trade would greatly impact high potential countries like Zambia, Uganda and Tanzania to name but a few.
- The spare change would go to improving infrastructure (roads, storage and information systems) in agriculture
Clearly the constraints are many. BUT the Opportunities as a Result of Regional Integration and partnering are even greater:
- Are you a player in this Agriculture and Food-trade and Security space in EAC or the other blocs?
- Are you seeking to expand your businesses network?
- Are you seeking to tap into the regional network and build strategic partnerships?
Join RiimNet-Africa’s A &FS Working Group that will:
- Put you in league with regional strategic partners(hips) and help develop a shared
- monitoring mechanism that impacts your business
- Keep you posted on all regional happenings in your sector
- Help you track new policy developments that impact your business
- Loop you into the regional monitoring network to strengthen evidence based policy advocacy