The African Grain Trade Summit (AGTS) is a biennial high-level multi-stakeholder event organised by EAGC and hosted at EAGC-mandate countries on a rotating basis. This Summit is a continentally-recognized grain industry conference that attracts stakeholders along the grain value chain from around the African continent and beyond for discussions about key grain industry issues and developing trends in grain trade on the continent.
In addition to the opportunity to listen to and interact with grain industry experts addressing a wide range of issues and trends affecting grain trade, delegates benefit from enhanced networking opportunities for concluding concrete business with a vast array of influential players in the industry attending the event.
The 6th Africa Grain Trade Summit, therefore, intends to bring together high-level stakeholders in the regional grain sector to discuss and agree on mechanisms that will bring about the prevalence of a business environment that enables effective and efficient public sector participation in regional grain trade, with the ultimate goal being improved livelihoods, more inclusive economic growth and socio-economic development Since its inception in 2005 under the USAID Regional Agricultural Trade Expansion Support Program (RATES) programme,the Summit has continuously attracted a growing number of participants across a broad spectrum of the grains supply chain.
Highlights and recommendations from the 5th Africa Grain Trade Summit 2013
The 5th AGTS held in Mombasa, Kenya in October 2013 carried the theme, “Africa the emerging frontier for global investment in grain trade” and was the most successful summit to date. Some of its key achievements included:
- Launch of the EAGC/CTA Structured Grain Trading Systems in Africa Handbook, the first of its kind anywhere in the world with a comprehensive coverage of key issues in structured grain trade in easy-to-use language which forms the foundation of all STS training programmes under EAGC
- Identification of measures to boost investment in agriculture on the continent. Recommendations included:
- Stronger Public-Private Partnerships, whereby the private sector spearheads agribusiness while governments focused on creating an enabling business environment
- Removing all regional trade barriers (tariff and non-tariff) and synchronising hard and soft infrastructure interventions
- Recognition of EAGC as the key institution in forging and strengthening collaboration between regional grain sector stakeholders
- Launch of the Agricultural Member States Modelling (AGMEMOD) food price forecasting model which is an econometric, partial equilibrium model useful for analysing agricultural commodity markets and trade and demonstrated key insights on the agricultural commodity market in Africa
With active participation from the assembled delegates, the Summit bore fruit to several key recommendations for boosting agricultural investments on the continent, some of which are outlined below:
- Exerting a greater push to address policy-related obstacles to achieve greater market access for farmers and motivate them to increase agricultural production; improvement of transport infrastructure; removing barriers to trade, especially Non-Tariff Barriers and multiple cess; improvements in market information dissemination; and capacity building of actors across the value chain.
- Call to explore technologies that can be adapted to serve smallholder farmers and address constraints on agricultural investment in Africa.
- Push to scale up agribusiness financing; leverage private sector partnerships, forge greater South-South collaboration and replicate best practices to address financing challenges facing the agricultural sector.