MARKUP Rolls Out Campaign to Grow Agri-export Trade
MARKUP has launched a campaign aimed at creating awareness on agri-export trade opportunities. The campaign aims to spur small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) towards export by linking them to market information, success stories and tools generated by the programme.
Speaking at the June 14 launch, Ms Flavia Busingye, the Ag. Director Trade at the EAC, said that MARKUP had created numerous trade opportunities for agri-SMEs in the region.
“The campaign ‘MARKUP: Growing agri export markets’ aims to raise awareness of the opportunities in agricultural trade, and to demonstrate that international markets are within reach of East African exporters,” Flavia said.
She said that the programme, a collaborative initiative of the EAC, the EU, and other development partners, had generated resources such as the EAC Quality Portal, market studies, practical guides and handbooks, policy briefs, a Financing Gateway as well as the Burundi Trade Information Portal, and urged stakeholders to actively participate in the campaign.
On his part, Max Middeke, Deputy Programme Manager of the GIZ ‘Support to the EAC Integration Process’, noted that the MARKUP campaign was coming at a time when the bulk of activities were ending and was a way of taking stock of the achievements.
“This campaign gives us the opportunity to look back on how far we have come, celebrate our joint achievements and lay strategies to tackle the challenges that still remain,” Max said.
The European Union lauded partner collaboration in realizing the objectives of MARKUP, noting that the programme had made significant inroads in enabling farmer groups to access a wider market.
“Some encouraging results have emerged,” said Jose-Luis Gonzalez, Programme Officer at the European Union Delegation to Tanzania and EAC. “For example, in Kenya, the number of steps to export coffee were reduced from 88 to 58. In Tanzania, the reduction was from 40 to 31. This is just one illustration of what can be achieved where there is trust and informed dialogue between the public and the private sector,” he added.
Since 2018, MARKUP has reached more than 30,000 farmers, businesspersons, experts and policy makers in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. The programme has supported more than 500 SMEs to interact with buyers through trade fairs and other networking events. More than 180 SMEs and co-operatives have received equipment such as coffee pulping machines, fruit processing equipment and moisture meters to improve the quality of their products.
Throughout the campaign, beneficiaries of the programme will share their stories of transformation owing to MARKUP support.
“We invite you to join us through our website and social media platforms to amplify these and similar stories of SMEs and Government institutions that have been transformed as a result of MARKUP, and to continue advocating for initiatives to address the market access barriers that still remain,” said Max Middeke.