From October 20-25, the FoodTechAfrica consortium visited Kenya and Uganda on a joined promotion and fact-finding Impact Tour. The goal of the Impact Tour was to gain detailed understanding of the East African market for aquaculture and the aquaculture value chain in Uganda and Kenya specifically. During six intensive days, the delegation of Dutch, Kenyan and Ugandan experts visited East African aquaculture companies, including small, medium and large fish farms, fish processors, local and regional markets, slaughter houses and feed manufacturers. The team had meetings with business associations, entrepreneurs, farmers, finance institutions and the Royal Dutch Embassy in Nairobi.
Royal Dutch Embassy in Nairobi
The consortium was invited by the Royal Dutch Embassy in Nairobi to present and discuss the planned activities from 2013 to 2018 within the project. According to the embassy, FoodTechAfrica holds a prominent position in the agricultural strategic plan for the coming years. Further to the kind invitation of the Dutch Ambassador, the future plans were discussed in more detail during a cocktail reception at the ambassador’s residence. The Embassy in Nairobi is a strong supporter of FoodTechAfrica.
“It was a pleasure to be able to share with the team and hope that this efforts will turn into tangible benefits for the industry.”
Otieno Okello – Chairman CASK
Market leaders and traditional farmers
The consortium visited established companies including Unga Feeds, Dominion Fish Farms and Farmer’s Choice. The visits to these companies provided excellent good insight in the different steps in the value chain and the challenges faced in improving local production of food, for the local market. Next to these visits, the FoodTechAfrica team visited other actors in the value chain such as (traditional) fish farms, hatcheries and training specialists. During the visits the participants were able to see the production facilities and discuss with the farmers opportunities to improve the production process. It was clear that the farmers are very open to an initiative that will enlarge the economies of scale and will tackle some of the major hurdles in the sector, including lack of quality inputs and insufficient market access.
Markets and business associations
As fish is mostly traded via traditional markets, a visit to the City market in Nairobi and the border market in Busia gave insight in how fish is currently distributed, sold and consumed. A visit to the main supermarket chains in Kenya showed the differences in quality, price and supply between markets and more upstream channels. Apart from meetings with private companies, the FoodTechAfrica delegation also met with the board member of CASK, represented by Mr. Otieno Okello and the Bufa Cooperative Society in Busia. The participants discussed matters such as the current state of the aquaculture industry in East Africa and how Dutch companies can actively support the further development of the value chain by improving efficiency, animal health and sustainability.
The Impact Tour was concluded with a wrap up meeting in Entebbe, where next steps and implementation of lessons learned were outlined. The team will now work towards the primary steps of the project realization.
“I do look forward to the next steps and think that with the vast experience of the members of the group, we should be able to successfully implement practical activities.”
Philip Borel – Managing Director Greenfields Uganda Ltd.
Larive International is coordinator of the public-private partnership FoodTechAfrica. For more information visit www.foodtechafrica.com.