This is one of 50 Harvesting Nutrition project case studies. Harvesting Nutrition was a contest held in 2012 and 2013 that showcased active projects working to improve the impact of agriculture and/or food security on nutrition outcomes. Co-sponsors were SecureNutrition, Save the Children UK, and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN). Learn More.
AfricaAgriExport E Newsletter is a market information service linking food value chains and nutrition supplements value chains in countries in Africa. The target is 30 countries, present outreach is in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The project collect data on market prices and provides market data to food and nutrition supplements value chains . Our realization is that food production in most countries in Sub Saharan Africa is adequate to feed the population, while during a pumper harvest people have abundant food but this does not guarantee them nutritionally secure, many people live in towns and cities and are not active in farming, climate change has brought erratic weather conditions where food shortfall in a locality is common while abundant production is in the neighborhood. African countries can move away from famine by addressing food marketing, this area has been neglected because most interventions are tackling food production short falls. Most food production short falls are due to erratic climatic conditions often calling for relief interventions. Our observation is that if food markets is improved by providing market information to stakeholders so that food production shortfalls is addressed by accessing those food deficit areas with production from bumper harvest areas, addressing the market positioning for nutrition supplements in both food production surplus areas and food production deficit areas and accessing affordable food into towns and cities, malnutrition can be alleviated in Africa .We are addressing market linkages in food and nutrition supplements value chains by market information and the formation of value chains social media for enhanced interactions and nutrition development in African countries. Cross border trade in food and nutrition supplements can alleviate chronic malnutrition brought by erratic weather patterns. During severe drought in Kenya there is a bumper harvest in Tanzania, accessing Kenyan starving population the surplus food produced in Tanzania will be a long term strategy better than relief operations. This strategy can be done by value chains development and cross border food trade. An electronic market information and social media can connect millions of people in a matter of a few months, they will interact with each other freely and communicate trade issues in a fraction of a minute.
Impact of project:
Why this project is a Good Practice example:
The project is addressing gaps that will lead to maximization of nutrition impact of agriculture and food security interventions. The first stage of project implementation we addressed mapping majority of value chains that will maximise modernization of farming, increasing food processing , accessing cheap food to urban population and tackling nutrition security in food surplus areas and food deficit areas. Marketing development support translates to biggest impetus in productivity in primary food production , productivity in food trade and productivity in food processing. Customers then will get adequate food at competitive prices, these prices are stable and fair. Value chains development through market information service will increase food production at primary level and at manufacturing level, accessing many people to food of adequate nutritiousness that guarantee consumers good health , strength and long life. Then agriculture becomes relevant to nutrition of people. The present stage of this project is establishing a social media platform where food and nutrition supplement value chains partners will be logging in the web site and posting the commodity and food products trade information. The stakeholders like food manufacturers , food trade middle men, food whole sellers, retailers and consumers can access trade opportunity that has long term access factor addressing nutrition and food security. This e commerce food and nutrition supplements social media being developed has the following capabilities:
- On line registration as ;-farmer; food trade middlemen; food processor; food retailer and support service provider. Access fee will pay for cost of providing this service , it will be individual or corporate paying 2 US dollars monthly.
- Formation of groups like farmers groups from a locality so that farmers can bulkanise their commodity and approach buyers through communication by the social media platform
- On line commodity , food and nutrition supplements exhibitions
- E mail communication between the value chains actors in the social media plat form
Impact evaluation in progress
AfricaAgriExport E Newsletter project has made the implementing team learn a lot . Village level food trade is the most common in Africa, it is so limited because farmers grow nearly the same crops and raise nearly the same livestock. Without market information there is no food trade, peasant farmers therefore do not have income targets in farming, they produce for consumption. Large multinational companies have taken advantage of this gap, making millions of US dollars trading on food, some of the foods are imported. The advantage these companies have is local and foreign trade representatives doing market studies and collecting elaborate market information. While capacity of transnational companies to feed nations has been proven inadequate, millions of farmers are not in farming as business, they set food security targets which even they cannot meet due to use of poor quality inputs and laborious farming operations due to lack of earnings in farming. Farmers with knowledge of markets are the farmers that set income targets in farming, they produce more that family requirement because they are aware of where they will sell surplus. Food is perishable commodity, surplus can only be produced when markets are known. Farmers who know markets are in value chains of farmers, food traders, food processors, food importers and food consumers. These value chains if provided market information will increase volume of trade addressing nutrition and food security in tandem. Lessons Learned in Project Design
- Market information media for farmers can change farmers to do farming as business. Government extension service is the predominant service provider, government extension is constrained by the large number of farmers that simply they are not in a position to do it alone, stakeholders are required to get involved.
- Transnational corporations are not capable of solving food security and nutrition in African countries.
- A social enterprise that charge fees affordable to everybody including the absolutely poor farmers and traders is required as market information provider addressing farming, nutrition and food security in Africa Lessons
Learned in Project Preparation
- Development support by donors is required to establish a social intervention addressing nutrition problems but people need to pay for services to enable sustainability of services when donor pull out.
- Fee structure for a social enterprise should be affordable to all people.
Lessons Learned in Project Implementation
- Market information be better provided under a social media plat form networking by a web based application software . This plat form is now under development by the project.
Primary Contact: Joshua Okomo
Project Stage: Beginning of Implementation
Target Population: Farmers, Consumers, Food processors, Food traders