The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has partnered with the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) to give a $3 (KSh 304) million grant to East Africa rice farmers.
The implementation of the project is set to be spread out across three years, from April 15th, 2019 to April 14th, 2022.
Although the total cost of the project is $3 million, the East African Community has already received $322,600. The funding was approved by Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
The project, dubbed Competitive African Rice Initiative in East Africa (CARI-EA), aims at improving the rice sub-sector in the region. It will be implemented jointly by the East African Community (EAC) and Kilimo Trust (KT).
Some of the objectives of CARI-EA include:
- Support private sector millers to utilize opportunities at the national, regional and extra-regional levels.
- Carry out assessment of supply chain and logistical constraints and opportunities that hinder processors from attaining desired quality and quantity of paddy from smallholder farmers.
- Support EAC Partner States governments to develop clear rice development plans.
- Mobilize private sector investments in rice mills as well as public sector investments in irrigated rice schemes.
- Promote the use of irrigation technologies for East Africa rice farmers.
- Partner with National Agricultural Research Centres and seed agencies in Partner States to ensure enough breeder seed is available for multiplication by commercial rice seed companies.
On its end, the EAC Secretariat is tasked to:
- Develop an EAC rice trade strategy involving all Partner States.
- Establish the EAC Regional rice platform.
- Increase the membership of private sector processors and rice value chain actors in the industry platform
- Undertake research into the issues affecting rice regional trade.
- Establish a rice traceability and certification mechanism for locally produced rice in the EAC.
- Promote the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) protocol already developed by the Community.
Overall, the project targets to reach 660,000 farming households (220,000 directly and 440,000 indirectly impacted).
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is a partnership-driven institution that is African-led and farmer-centred.