East and Southern Africa—FoodTrade ESA

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2013-2018

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Regional

Solutions: Economic Growth

FoodTrade ESA works to systemically improve the national and regional staple food market systems, directly impacting more than 400,000 households and consumers through stable markets for staple food products. The program works to enable private sector to invest and develop regional staple markets, benefiting farmers and consumers.

Based in Dar es Salaam, the program works across nine countries: Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Through two facilitative tools—a Challenge Fund and Development Fund—the program will foster catalytic and innovative solutions. For more information and the latest updates, visit the FoodTrade ESA website.

Sample Activities

  • Work with national governments and regional bodies to enact favorable policies that foster regional trade in staples.
  • Leverage economic gains facilitated by the program to attract public-private partnership investments to improve infrastructure and transport.
  • Create storage mechanisms to enable farmers to better store their food crops and sell when the seasonal prices have risen.
  • Creating a staple food knowledge hub that will allow users to share and exchange knowledge and resources.

Select Results

  • Assisted 250,000 farmers in accessing national and cross-border value chains, allowing them to sell more than 60,000 metric tonnes of staple foods across the region in 2016 alone.
  • Stimulated £17,455,463 in private sector investment in regional staple food value chains to date. Challenge Fund grantees contribute at least 51 percent of the total project budgets.
  • Enhanced value chain coordination for 115,000 farmers by applying grades and standards for products, improving logistics, and developing a virtual marketplace.
  • Provided improved agricultural inputs to 169,000 farmers to increase quality and quantity of harvests.
  • Connected 130,000 farmers to improved market information systems through FoodTrade interventions.
  • Collaborated with regional partners to develop strategies for addressing 31 regulatory and policy challenges that hinder trade.
  • Held 19 public-private dialogue platforms to address cross-border trade in the East and Southern African region.


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