Maize farmers in Uasin Gishu County are set to benefit from the East African Exchange, a platform that will be used to sell their maize produce.
The East African Exchange is regional commodities exchange, based in Kigali, that was established for the purposes of linking small scale farmers to agricultural and financial markets, secure competitive prices for their products and to facilitate access to financing opportunities for farmers in the East Africa Community Partner States.
The exchange will start its operations in Eldoret this month and farmers will have been freed from working with middlemen who used to buy their maize at very low prices during harvest time. This made most of them to incur great losses, as compared to what they use during production.
The platform, which will comprise of three countries, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, has planned to run a joint commodities exchange and warehouse receipting system that will make the pricing of all farm produce to be fair and open and of high standards. A total of 18 types of grains will be traded upon amongst the three countries.
The recently opened warehouse in Eldoret has the capacity of holding up to 18,000 tonnes of maize. Later on, other grain types like wheat, beans wheat, sorghum among others will also be traded upon.
Maize and wheat farmers in the Rift Valley region had been protesting of low prices on their produce and some had even vowed to shift to other agricultural products in place of the two.
Maize farmers had called upon the ministry of Agriculture to intervene and save them from exploitation by the cartels as most of them depend that cash so as to pay school fees for their children since that’s their only source of income.
It was disclosed recently that millers had refused to buy their wheat as they imported from outside the country, making the farmers with no option but to kept their produce in the stores as they wait for the way forward from the government.
The East Africa Exchange also deals with operations like auction, spot, forwards, trading and warehouse.
Article by Vera Shawiza.