Cablegate: Summary Report On Consultative Workshop On The


DE RUEHNR #2871/01 3581255
R 231255Z DEC 08




E.O. 12958: N/A
NOVEMBER 11-14, 2008.


The following is a summary report, following the
consultative workshop on the Global Food Security

1. Key regional partners participated in a workshop
November 11-14 in Nairobi, Kenya, to discuss priorities
for the implementation of the Global Food Security
Response in Eastern and Southern Africa. This is part
of a broader, multi-donor response to the global food
crisis in support of the Africa-led Comprehensive
African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP). The
U.S. Government, led by USAID, has organized this
initiative in the sub-region to ?make markets work for
African farmers,? particularly smallholders. The
overall objective is to address food security by
strengthening orderly marketing and structured trading
systems for staple foods, increase farm incomes, and
increase regional food supplies as building blocks of
regional economic growth. Building on existing
activities, the Global Food Security Response will
coordinate emergency response with long-term
development programs. A key objective is facilitating
the development of systems for the local and regional
procurement of food aid, which will strengthen, rather
than by-pass, sustainable market institutions.

2. The workshop was organized jointly by USAID/East
Africa?s offices of Regional Economic Growth and
Integration and Food for Peace, and the Eastern Africa
Grain Council (EAGC). The EAGC is a private sector
association of producers, traders, millers and other
processors, and services providers working at all
stages of value chains for grains in the region.

3. From USAID, the following offices and Missions were
represented: the Africa Bureau (AFR/SD), the
Humanitarian Assistance Bureau (DCHA/PPM); the Office
of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the East Africa
regional mission, and the bilateral Missions in Kenya,
Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Sudan, Malawi, and Zambia.
The EAGC was represented by several members of its
Board of Directors as well as its senior staff. The
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
presented the newly launched Alliance for Commodity
Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA). Senior
staff of the World Food Program (WFP) from Rome and
Nairobi presented and discussed their new Purchase for
Progress (P4P) program.

4. Staple food marketing experts from the EAGC, the
Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA),
Catholic Relief Services (CRS), KENAGRI, ACDI/VOCA, and
CLUSA presented lessons from programs designed to
integrate smallholders into commercial markets. Other
private firms and NGOs active in the sector
participated actively in discussions. Representatives
of other donors included the Swedish International
Development Agency (SIDA), the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, the World Bank, Australian Aid (AusAID),
and Japanese International Cooperation (JICA).

5. The workshop produced concrete outputs on two
levels. First, there were internal meetings among the
five USAID Missions in eastern Africa that are being
provided with supplemental funds for the Global Food
Security Response ? Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia,
and East Africa regional. Sudan, Malawi, and Zambia are
involved in the newly launched Market Linkages
Initiative, a separate program supported by the Famine
Prevention Fund, and are likely to receive funding for
the Food Security Response in future years.
USAID/Mozambique and the regional office for southern
Africa were unable to attend, but will also be

6. The Mission representatives discussed how to
coordinate their plans and programs with each other and
with USAID/Washington. The five missions in eastern
Africa that are receiving supplemental funds this year
will submit final implementation plans in December.
These will lay out expanded development assistance
activities in support of food marketing and trading
systems, with a focus on local and regional
procurement, which will be coordinated with
humanitarian assistance delivered through Food for
Peace and OFDA. Each Mission will show how their
activities are helping to reduce the longer-term need
for food aid and other forms of emergency assistance. A
mechanism for coordination among agencies and missions
has been set up in the USAID/East Africa Mission.

7. The second set of meetings with the broader
stakeholder group discussed lessons from ongoing
activities in staple food markets and trade, and agreed
on the following broad recommendations:
? In the areas of national and regional public
policy, the new ACTESA program will catalyze an
effective voice for smallholders to advocate for
more transparent and consistent policies in
support of open borders. ACTESA will push for the
full implementation of harmonized, simplified
regional rules and protocols to encourage cross-
border trade that have been agreed by regional
policy forums of COMESA and the East African
Community (EAC). The EAGC and bodies including the
COMESA business forum will advocate for an open
and predictable policy environment for private
sector investments in staple food marketing and
value chains. A coordinated voice is needed to
muster evidence against short-sighted policies and
interventions in markets by policy-makers.
Prominent examples are bans on food exports and
ad-hoc interventions in domestic crop and food
prices imposed without warning in the name of
national food security, which often penalize both
farmers and traders without achieving expected
benefits for consumers.
? The integration of smallholders into commercial
markets will be encouraged by linking increased
productivity with viable mechanisms to consolidate
harvests at accessible bulking/storage centers.
The expansion and scaling up of warehouse receipt
systems, and eventually of commodity exchanges,
are potentially important components of structured
trading systems. While there is a broad consensus
in favor of collective marketing by associations
of smallholders, there are many examples where
poor governance and top-down dependency on
cooperatives or NGO-led projects have led to
collapse and disappointed hopes. A number of
alternative models are being promoted, such as the
bottom-up development of groups that mobilize
their own savings, and which are given
opportunities to acquire business skills from
private sector partners. At the regional level,
transport corridors link potential surplus
production zones, storage facilities, and markets.
They provide a framework for identifying targets
of opportunity for increasing regional trade in
staples, thereby expanding market opportunities.
? The private and public sectors should work
together to provide expanded market services and
institutions for structured trade. To negotiate
the transition from low-input, low-output
subsistence-oriented production to commercial
production for the market, farmers need to improve
their decision-making capacity and business and
analytical skills. Reliable market information
systems should be upgraded and made more broadly
accessible with private investments by cell phone
companies and other partners. Key investments in
infrastructure must be promoted. Public
investments in feeder roads and other basic
services are critically important, and will
require sustained advocacy. Private investors
should be encouraged to build stores and drying
facilities, upgrade aggregation points, broaden
opportunities for processing, etc. Finance,
credit, and loan guarantees are needed to upgrade
marketing systems at many points along value
? Systems for local and regional purchase of food
aid should be leveraged to support the development
of structured trade. The World Food Program should
put mechanisms in place to use sustainable market
and trading systems to purchase food crops
produced by smallholders. These should include
agreements to buy from aggregation points,
warehouse receipt systems, nascent commodity
exchanges, etc. All agencies involved in local and
regional purchase should use sustainable
commercial, rather than ad hoc parallel marketing
channels, and experiment with vouchers and other
innovative mechanisms that will benefit poorer
farmers. Care should be taken to ensure that local
purchase programs do not have negative impact on
? As a mechanism for opening up market access for
livestock producers in marginal areas, local and
regional purchase should include animal products
among nutritious foods for distribution. The
Kenyan national food reserve system is considering
canned corned beef and UHT milk in rations.
Analysis of possible meat and milk processing and
market chains should be done immediately to
establish feasibility. The Global Food Security
Response should be linked with ongoing programs to
broaden market opportunities for small and
pastoralist livestock producers, with a focus in
arid and semi-arid areas.
? A regional learning platform will be set up to
assist farmers? organizations, private companies,
NGOs, and publicly supported development and
emergency assistance programs to make markets work
for farmers. The platform should collect and
disseminate information on best practices and
lessons learned in the area of market service and
institutions. It could use web-based and e-mail
systems, regular publications, and meetings.
ACTESA was suggested as a possible facilitator for
this platform.

8. Several donor representatives met briefly on the
last day with the group from USAID, as well as with
representatives of the World Food Program (WFP) and the
Eastern Africa Grains Council (EAGC). It is clear that
the global food price crisis of the past year has led
to increased attention to market access for small
farmers, as a key component of agricultural
Many separate actions are being taken, and everyone
agreed that there is an urgent need to improve

9. CAADP provides a framework, but more needs to be
done to link activities at the regional and national
levels, both with governments and with other partners.
Focused research and advocacy are needed to prevent
policies that are reacting to short-term political
pressures from undermining the longer term development
of regional markets. The EAGC needs to scale up its
capacity for advocacy, to present the consequences of
policy alternatives at both national and regional
forums. As it begins to implement its Purchase for
Progress (P4P) program the WFP is consulting widely,
and is supporting innovate market mechanisms. The
donors are planning closer coordination in their
support to COMESA and other regional organizations,
including expanded programs to speed up trade along
transit corridors, and their transformation into
economic corridors. COMESA?s ACTESA will coordinate
activities to expand regional markets for staple
commodities, with improved access for smallholder
farmers, which is a widely shared common objective.

10. On Saturday, November 15, the EAGC organized a
field trip to visit the warehouse receipts system at
the facility of Lesiolo Grain Handlers Limited near
Nakuru, Kenya. This program has been supported by the
Kenya Maize Development Program and the Equity Bank, as
well as by the EAGC.

11. Presentations available on the EAGC Website:

Promoting orderly grain marketing ? Constantine Kandie
and Bridget Okumu (Eastern Africa Grain Council)
ACTESA: Strategy for Advocacy and Competitiveness ?
Cris Muyunda (COMESA)
Local and Region Purchase for Structured Grain Trade?
David Rinck, (USAID/FFP/East Africa)
Complementarity of Local/Regional Procurement
Operations and Agricultural Development Efforts ? Jeff
Hill, (USAID/Africa Bureau)
Purchase for Progress (P4P): Empowering small farmers -
- Joao Manja, (World Food Program)
Services and Institutions: Linking smallholders to BDS
providers, the Zambian experience -- Mark Wood,
Smallholder commercialization: the foundation for
structured trade -- Sophie Walker (KenAgri), Sebastian
Wanjala Oggema (ACDI/VOCA), Megan McGlinchy (CRS)
Barriers to Trade in Food Staples -- Stephen Njukia
Commodity Risk Management: EAGC Warehouse Receipt
System -- Stephen Njukia (AGRA)


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