Dar es Salaam. Farm Africa, an organization which helps farmers in Africa, has set up a programme that seeks to support 70,000 smallholder grain farmers in Tanzania and Uganda to access regional export markets, particularly Kenya.
The programmed dubbed FoodTrade East and Southern Africa is a trade enhancement and promotion tool which is being funded by a new £3 million grant from the UK government to a consortium of NGOs - Farm Africa, VECO and RUDI - and will link farmers to buyers in East Africa through various market interventions including the online trading platform G-Soko.
Farmers in Tanzania have expressed their relief after the launch of a project that seeks to help them expand regional markets, hence increase their income and fight poverty.
While Tanzania and Uganda produce a surplus of staple foods, 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.
Recent policy developments have helped reduce the barriers to regional trade. The promotion of trade within East Africa is a significant step towards strengthening food security.