The upcoming sixth African Grain Trade Summit (AGTS), to be held in Kigali in October, is expected to put in place common mechanisms to improve the trade on the continent.
The three-day summit, which will start on October 1, intends to bring together key stakeholders in the region’s grain sector.
“We will discuss mechanisms that will bring about the prevalence of a business environment that enables effective and efficient public sector participation in regional grain trade,” Gerald Masila, the executive director for Eastern African Grain Council, said, yesterday, during a media briefing in Kigali.
Masila noted that the summit was also aimed at improving livelihoods, promote inclusive economic growth and socio-economic development.
Some of the challenges facing the industry include increased residual tariffs, non-tariff barriers, lack of well established trading platforms, weak and fragmented market information systems and limited knowledge on how to create supportive policies. Others are limited awareness of the export and import procedures and opportunities as well as the poor value chain, which has always been at the helm of post-harvest losses.
Francois Kanimba, the Minister for Trade and Industry, said the summit is expected to put in place strategic measures to complement the existing initiatives to boost intra-Africa grain trade.
Tony Nsanganira, the Minister of State in charge of Agriculture, said involving the private sector in the grain trade industry would be the best way to address challenges facing the industry.
The AGTS is a biannual continentally recognised grain industry conference that attracts participants from the African continent and beyond to discuss key issues and developing trends in grain trade.