Monitoring and Evaluation for the aBi Trust Project in Eastern and Northern Uganda
In Uganda, the Monitoring &Evaluation and STS Officers carried out the baseline data collection exercise to track progress for the aBi Trust funded program activities. The main objective was to assess the impact of the fumigation training conducted for beneficiary warehouses and VACs to test and refine the baseline data collection tools developed for the aBi Trust funded project. The baseline data collected will inform the program implementation process and will increase membership participation in the EAGC programs.It will also assist in the documentation of success stories, sensitize VACs on East Africa Standards for staple foods and further refine the EAGC data collection tools.
EAGC meets with Operations Wealth Creation (OWC) in Kampala to promote Structured Grain Trade
The EAGC team held a meeting with Operations Wealth Creations (OWC) in Kampala . Representing EAGC at the meeting was the Executive Director, Mr.Gerald Masila, Country Director, Dr.Rose Omaria, EAGC Country Program Manager Kiiza Kizito and a member of the CPC Amb. Philip Idro .
The meeting was chaired by Lt. Gen Charles Angina, the Deputy Chief Coordinator for Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) who urged members to ensure the OWC/EAGC relationship remains in place for ease to work together to promote the grain sector in the East African Community (EAC) which would promote food security. The chairman informed members that the EAC Region had good soils, good environment and being close to the equator. He further added that the EAC therefore stood a chance to grow grain and cereals naturally that are non GMO and stated that food security and sustainable markets within the region would be attained if the Region's position was to be strengthened through sound policy advocacy .
Various challenges in the grain sector were cited during the meeting such as the Fall Army Worm infestation, which should not be a challenge to the tropical regions. It was suspected that the worms probably come from the developers of pesticides who are only interested in profits. The pesticides were noted to be harmful to waterbodies.
The Chairman challenged OWC & EAGC to rethink the use of traditional seeds which can be replanted seasonally as opposed to the western seeds that need to be purchased seasonally. He further posed a question to members asking how the East African Community can stop the informal border trade and also enforce the grain standards.He urged members to take advantage of the market opportunities in the region.
Mr. Gerald Masila, the EAGC Executive Director informed members that EAGC was ready to partner and work with OWC. He noted that the issues highlighted by the Chairman in his communication, are some of the reasons why EAGC was formed.
The following was the way forward from the meeting:
o OWC to pay membership to EAGC
o EAGC to send a draft Partnership Agreement indicating the person specifications constituting both the Technical and Executive Committee
o EAGC to present a detailed account of their 4 pillars for OWC to mirror.
o EAGC to provide a training curriculum to OWC on Capacity building in the Grain Sector
o Amb. Phillip Idro informed members that he is the Chairman of the Aflatoxin Council and hence offered free training to OWC.
Courtesy meeting with the Commissioner in Charge of Agro processing and Marketing at the Uganda Ministry of Trade
Kiiza Kizito met with the Commissioner in Charge of Agro-processing and Marketing at Ministry of Trade. The key areas of discussion were on possible areas of collaboration between EAGC and the Ministry or trade to boost the competitiveness of grain exports from Uganda. EAGC will make a formal presentation to all the other commissioners at the Ministry of trade at a future agreed date.
Uganda Membership development
EAGC member in Uganda: Overland Commodities confirmed their membership subscription payment for 2018.
Other follow-ups made with positive response to settle membership fees included:
1. Savannah Commodities
3. Kinoni Produce Farm
4. Brazafric Enterprises
5. Aluga Co-operative Society – Payment made
6. Mmacks Investments Ltd – Meeting held on 18th July – Form filled out pending payment
New Members approached for membership pending sign up were :
1. Yo Grains Ltd – Meeting held at the office on 19th July – awaiting feedback after their internal consultations
2. Agroserve Solutions Investments Ltd – Lira
3. Archways Agrofarm - Lira
New contacts collected for membership profiling and possible recruitment :
1. Syngenta – Possible associate member
2. Starke Ayres Kenya
3. One Acre Fund
4. ERIGNU – Possible Affiliate member
EAGC contributed to the Uganda’s draft on harmonized extension materials for beans and maize
The Uganda Country Program Manager participated in the meeting to review and update the existing extension materials for maize and beans. The meeting was held in Mukono from the 10th – 12th July 2018 and was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries in collaboration with Feed the Future Uganda, Enabling Environment for Agriculture and SASAKAWA Global 2000. EAGC'S input was on Post-Harvest Management, grades and standards as well as storage of the grains. This will further enhance compliance to the harmonized standards for quality grain.
EAGC created awareness of its services at the National Agricultural Show in Jinja
The EAGC Uganda team comprising of Justine Namubiru, Clessy Nuwagaba and Simon Semakula participated in the 26th edition of the National Agricultural Show which was held in Jinja from 13th to the 22nd July 2018. The show was organised by the Uganda National Farmers Federation and was attended by a wide range of players from the sector as well as entities that support the sector. Notable partners at the event included UNBS & WFP who were promoting the need to adhere to quality standards to promote trade. The event was also attended by EAGC members who included KATINE, Export Trade Group, Biyinzika Poultry International, BSI Commodities, Brazafric Ent Ltd among others.
Over 250 farmers were trained on the importance of grain standards and were equipped with materials on standards during the five days (13th – 17th July) when the show was taking place. Three interviews were carried out with 3 media houses in regards to standards.Several contacts were established for EAGC membership profiling and recruitment as well as contacts for the RATIN email database.
Participation in the National Youth Symposium during the Agricultural Show in Jinja
The Uganda CPM, Kiiza Kizito participated as a panelist in the discussion on Youth in Agribusiness, titled "Challenges and Opportunities " which was held on 20th July in Jinja during the then ongoing National Agricultural show. On this same platform, he spoke about the EAGC interventions in the Agricultural sector which are aimed at addressing some of the bottlenecks in the promotion of agribusiness development across the region.
EAGC conducted the annual routine inspection of the certified warehouses in Uganda
On 20th July, the STS Officer, Clessy Nuwagaba carried out the re-inspection of Rewa Grains and Savannah Commodities warehouses in preparation for annual certification renewal for the year 2018. This was to ensure compliance with the set warehouse standards (Standard Operating Procedures). During the same exercise, the warehouse operators were updated on the current EAGC planned activities like the Graders Training and Export Procedures training which are key in the promotion of quality standards for trade, more trade and better trade.