The Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and East Africa’s largest equipment sharing platform, Quipbank Trust Limited, have inked an agreement to boost grain production in the region. The partnership is expected to change farmers’ lives and fortunes by facilitating the supply of agro-inputs and related services to EAGC members. Other active partnerships between the equipment renter and institutions like EABL, Bayer and Strathmore University on farm mechanization have led to at least 300 percent harvest increase among farmers. Through this partnership, EAGC will facilitate a well-functioning and sustainable grain trading among its members and other grain sector players while Quipbank will offer vehicles and equipment rental and sales options on technology platform as per farmer groups’ requirements. The council members involved in production of grains will access the services of the Quipbank’s project, TingA.
Speaking during the contract signing ceremony, EAGC’s Executive Director, Mr. Gerald Masila, said “In our efforts to develop regional and national markets for grain commodities, we engaged Quipbank to boost 2019-20 grain production and exports among grain actors through access to vehicle and mechanization services.” Mr. Masila revealed that both parties agreed to provide technical advice to farmers through regular visits which will include extension services, advisory, agronomy trials and demonstrations on need basis to increase grain harvests.
“The partnership is part of our focus on ceaseless efforts to increase food production in the Eastern Africa. The availability of modern farm technology and agricultural processes will also help improve efficiency and workplace safety,” said John Mogire, Quipbank’s Commercial Director.
TingA’s General Manager, Phillip Nyandieka, stated that “This partnership epitomizes our commitment to creating the next generation of advanced mechanization in Africa as we apply innovation for the development of new agricultural solutions.”
EAGC will further support the set-up of the Grain Trade Business hubs under this agreement to facilitate the supply of agro-inputs and related services by her members. This will bring together various talents and expertise from all industries as collaboration will be key towards agricultural success in this region.
Research has established that a variety of crops are produced for both domestic consumption and export, with the major stress on grains like sorghum, rice, maize, millet and wheat. Current production is not capable of meeting the aggregate demand hence forcing the country to import the deficit regardless of its potential to feed the entire continent. Bestowing to African Development Bank report, about $35bn is spent on food imports per annum across the continent notwithstanding the fact that Africa is home to 75% of the world’s most arable uncultivated land. To enhance food security, there is need to restrict imports and encourage more grain production at country level. Industry specialists and some investors have over the years considered this region to have the best agricultural potential among its African peers, because of its low variations in temperature and at least two rainy seasons per year. Accessibility of proper farm equipment will increase the production of such crops. The Government of Kenya plans to bridge the consumption gap by boosting production to 438,000 metric tonnes by 2022 under its Big 4 Agenda, forcing researchers to work round the clock.