The UNDP – AFIM Catalytic Fund for Regional Agri-business Value Chain Development funded this project to accelerate sorghum commercialisation and regional trade. During the year under review, the project focus was establishing and strengthening linkages among value chain partners in Tanzania and Kenya.
Apart from improving household food security, the project has been very successful in unlocking economic potential for smallholder farmers through participation in regional sorghum trade. Over 2,000 smallholder farmers, 10 micro and small enterprises in Kenya and Tanzania have benefited from this project.
Aggregators were identified – one in Kenya and two in Tanzania – and supported to provide much needed assistance to farmers. Links were established with established markets for high quality sorghum grain for malting and food relief food. FourTwo aggregators – Twoone in Tanzania and the others in Kenya – have on-going supply contracts with East African Maltings Limited (Kenya) and Serengeti Breweries (Tanzania) as well as with the World Food Program (WFP) in Kenya and Tanzania. The aggregator model was identified as the best suited approach to stimulate commercialisation and trade activities while the Whole Value Chain strategy would be applied in enhancing production and productivity gaps among target beneficiaries.
Opportunities for enhancing the capacity of aggregators were identified and shall be addressed in the future; focus will be to enhance their ability to fully exploit their potential and catalyse improvements in the value chain. These include capacity building in agronomy for their staff and capacity building of farmers to improve productivity and quality of grain, limited number of grain aggregation centres and access to funding.
The existence of a ready market for Sorghum grain and forage in animal feed production and industrial products (ethanol) was established.
Linkages with leading player in the animal feed manufacturing segment in the region (East Africa) was established and shall be leveraged in the future to provide an alternative market for high quality sorghum.