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UNDP and EAC Launch Initiative to Boost Food production, Job and Income Opportunities in Agriculture Value Chains in East Africa

Summary

In June 2012, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the East Africa Community (EAC) launched an initiative to boost food production, job and income opportunities for farmers through advancing agriculture value chains in East Africa.

UNDP’s African Facility for Inclusive Markets (AFIM) and the EAC secretariat convene multiple-stakeholders representing governments, UN agencies, private sector, farmers, financiers and civil society from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia for an East Africa Project Facilitation Platform (PFP).

The East Africa PFP is discussing partnerships and value addition of the various stakeholders in strategic agri-food value chains, especially sorghum, soy and dairy. Project promoters presenting planned interventions include Africa Harvest, East Africa Dairy Development Project and UNIDO/UNDP.

AFIM’s strategy is to provide low income people with the tools and resources to lift themselves out of poverty through private sector initiatives at the regional and country level. The activities target low income people earning less than two dollars a day to include them into value chains as customers, employees, producers, entrepreneurs and distributors. AFIM also facilitates knowledge sharing, access to finance, and the dissemination of best practices in private sector led market-driven solutions to poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, post-conflict recovery and gender equality.

“A new private sector is emerging in Africa with great potential for creating new jobs, generating higher incomes and delivering products and services for all. Agriculture value chains and agribusiness are critical to advance food security and economic opportunities” said Aeneas Chuma, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator for Kenya, who opened the platform workshop in Nairobi.

AFIM is an example of UNDP’s Inclusive Market Development (IMD) strategy which focuses on developing private sector markets to make them more inclusive of and beneficial to the low income groups as producers, consumers and employees. Specifically, IMD seeks to empower small enterprises, producers and distributors to participate in and benefit from the existing and potential markets in which they do business.

IMD combines private sector development and private sector engagement. The objective is the stimulation of sustainable economic growth that creates jobs and thereby reduces poverty – primarily by ensuring that small enterprise owners and their employees take part in the growth of expanding markets. The most used approach to IMD is the development of value chains with growth, job and income generation potential.

In this context, AFIM aims to achieve four main goals:

Increase private sector related capacity of targeted, regional institutions and governments; Build a broad-based alliance of partners for IMD in Africa (Private sector, regional institutions, UN agencies, donors and other development partners); Strengthen regional and country level initiatives; Improve access to finance for small producers and micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

“UNDP’s African Facility for Inclusive Markets is brokering partnerships and building capacity to develop inclusive markets that contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially toward food security and inclusive economic growth. The level of participation for this East Africa platform is very encouraging, and we will launch similar initiatives in Southern and West Africa,” said Tomas Sales, AFIM Manager.

For more details on success stories and case studies, visit the following websites:

- www.undp.org/partners/business
- www.businesscalltoaction.org
- www.growinginclusivemarkets.org
- www.undp.org/africa/privatesector

For more information, please contact Tomas Sales or Juergen Nagler.