PRESS STATEMENT FOR THE LAUNCH OF THE EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY TRADE IN STAPLES PROGRAMME.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
The Ministry of East African Community Affairs in Partnership with Kilimo Trust and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is launching a US$ 6 million East Africa Community Trade in Staples programme (REACTS).
This programme is an alliance between the Governments of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, plus the Private Sector and Civil Society organisations working in partnership to support 300,000 small holder families of maize, pulses, rice and potatoes over an initial 3year phase. The Uganda chapter though is designed for 5 years.
The objectives of the REACTS program are to strengthen access to inputs including (seed, fertilizers, agrochemicals, technologies) and outputs to strengthen the capacity for farmers and other value chain actors to be more profitable in the markets.
Implementation of the program will be done first, by forming partnerships and building alliances of projects between government and the private sector to ensure complementary integration with key programs and interventions. This will lead to the establishment of agribusiness linkages that connect the agribusiness actors and their support institutions to the markets for inputs and out puts.
This program will directly increase incomes of over 100,000 smallholder farmers by at least 20%. Out of these beneficiaries, 40% will be women, 30% youth, and at least 120,000 metric tonnes of agricultural products, valued at over US$60M will be traded under structured trade arrangements nationally and across the EAC borders.
The Uganda chapter of this programme is being coordinated through a steering Committee comprising the Ministry of EAC affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Trade, The National Planning Authority, Uganda Farmers Federation, The Grain Council, The Private Sector, Uganda Export Promotion Board and Kilmo Trust.
The programme contributes to the building blocks for realizing the Country’s vision 2040 of transforming the agriculture sector from subsistence farming to commercial farming including setting measures that support the achievement of NDP II target of the agricultural sector plan. The target aims at increasing agricultural exports to US $ 4 billion from the current US$1.3bn.
The Ministry of EAC Affairs Uganda has taken lead in coordinating the project in fulfilment of its mandate which seeks to ensure that Ugandans Benefit from the East African Community and other Regional Integration initiatives. The Ministry therefore puts emphasis on strengthening partnerships to ensure strong synergies and complementarity in order to take advantage of national, regional (EAC, COMESA, SADC) and other niche markets.
This programme is also in line with Article 105 of the Treaty establishing the EAC which among other objectives provides for “an increase in the production of crops, livestock, fisheries and forest products for domestic consumption, exports within and outside the Community and as inputs to agro-based industries within the Community”.
Our partners Kilimo Trust are an East Africa-based organization established in 2005 to contribute to broad-based wealth creation through agriculture and agribusiness development. Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is an organization that works to achieve a food secure and prosperous Africa through the promotion of smallholder farmers.
I thank you.
Maganda Julius Wandera,
Minister of State for East African Community Affairs
Uganda Media Centre
16th May 2018.