A Program Officer in charge of policy at Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) has underscored the importance of marketing information in bolstering cross border trader across the East African Community (EAC).
Speaking on Wednesday, Julian Barungi observed that marketing information was crucial in boosting cross border trade.
“That’s why we have brought together, private sector, farmer and hoping that we will be able to improve access to market information, mainly by the farmers and the private sector,” she said.
The ASARECA officer who was speaking during a policy dialogue on enhancing market information for cross border trade in agricultural commodities within East Africa said the gathering aimed at coming up with an action plan that details specific strategies that we bent on marketing strategies to enhance cross border trade.
“Market information is very crucial to enhance cross border trade and we should ensure this becomes a reality,” she added.
For his part, Climate-Smart Agriculture Specialist at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Dr John Recha, said the dialogue will help East African farmers attain higher yields and at the same time target higher income to address the problem of food insecurity as well as addressing the problem of nutrition security.
“Farmers need to get the prerequisite information about their goods as they head to the markets,” said Dr Recha.
Agriculture is one of East Africa’s most important sectors, with about 80 percent of the population of the region living in rural areas and depending on agriculture for their livelihood.
The agricultural sector is dominated by smallholder mixed farming of livestock, food crops, cash crops, fishing and aquaculture.
The major food crops are maize, rice, potatoes, bananas, cassava, beans, vegetables, sugar, wheat, sorghum, millet and pulses.
Cash crops include: tea, cotton, coffee, pyrethrum, sugar cane, sisal, horticultural crops, oil-crops, cloves, tobacco, coconut and cashew nuts.
The livestock sub-sector consists of cattle, sheep, goats, and camels, mainly for meat and milk production; pigs and poultry for white meat and eggs respectively; hides and skins for export and industrial processing.