RWANDA - A pact to promote grain trade in East African regional markets has been signed.
The signatories of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) were between the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) in partnership with Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB)-Rwanda and the Rwanda Grain and Cereals Corporation (RGCC).
The tripartite agreement seeks to promote structured grain trade and financing in the region.
It also aims at encouraging farmers, traders and processors to benefit from the infrastructure of structured trade by accessing finance to facilitate trade in the region
The agreement enables farmers in Rwanda to access a credit to the tune of $4.5m to finance production and improve productivity.
The chairman of Rwanda Grain and Cereals Corporation (RGCC), Eugene Rwibasira said farmers and traders will benefit by utilizing the network of warehouses in the region.
According to the executive director of EAGC, Gerald Masila, his organisation's role is to certify warehouses, train stakeholders on structured trade, post-harvest handling and management, grain commodity care, quality control and safety and facilitate trade and market linkages through grain trading platform and the regional market information system.
As for RGCC, it will provide warehousing services to the farmers through their national network on warehouses to be certified by EAGC and provide a market for the grains to the farmers, while KCB-Rwanda will provide finance to the farmers using the warehoused grains as collateral.
The EAGC warehouse certification criteria includes the physical condition of the warehouse structure, grain handling facilities, grain management and handling capacity systems among others.
Maurice Toroitich, the managing director of KCB-Rwanda, noted that agriculture is the only sector in Africa that has a competitive advantage to grow and develop.
He said Africa is the breadbasket of the world, and the agreement brings benefits to the entire stakeholders in the farming community.
The MD underlined the bank’s commitment to support agriculture and trade financing through a structured manner.
Meanwhile, Masila explained that also EAGC is committed to work with partners across the region to facilitate an efficient, structured and profitable grain trade sector in the region.