As the biggest employer in Africa, Agriculture will need to play a key role in the continent’s Sustainable Development. But did you know that by leveraging the experiences and expertise of India’s Agri sector, East African countries can gain a wealth of insights as to how to enhance their Agri sectors? What’s more, since the Indian sector is a few decades ahead, India and East African countries also a have a huge number of complementary trading interests.
Through the SITA project, ITC is supporting farmers to diversify into crops and move up their value chain, which can increase their profit margins, create more employment for men and women, whilst also building their resilience. Under many of its Agri initiatives, SITA then connects farmers with trading opportunities and equips them. Like many development initiatives, SITA also supports agribusinesses to enhance their productivity – which includes optimising their post-harvest storage. In the throes of carrying out this work, the SITA team realized that even when smaller agribusinesses enhanced their productivity, they were then being restricted by a lack of knowledge of contract preparation. Along with contract execution and related protocols, this knowledge is essential for being able to engage fruitfully in international trade.
What did SITA do?
In direct response to this knowledge gap, SITA designed and facilitated a training on contract preparation. SITA called on experts from India to deliver the training, which ensured the course was pitched according to the participants it was aimed at providing knowledge regarding procedures, processes and resolution of practical issues faced by SMEs in export of agricultural produce.
48 participants from Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia participated: traders and SMEs in Pulses and Oilseed sector; members of trade associations; staff members of Government agencies working in the export sector.
Participants learnt about:
– Value creation in B2B situations: by adding value to products before selling them, agribusinesses can increase their incomes. This is great news for Sustainable Development, especially because it creates skilled employment. However, it opens new challenges for the ensuing business-to-business relationships and therefore contract preparation.
– Commodity risk management: the primary objective of contract preparation is to mitigate risks. Participants learnt about the types of contract agreements, bid solicitations, agricultural export documentation and the Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) – as well as the codes of conduct to follow for each.
– Export documentation: contract preparation requires you to know and understand what documents are needed when shipping goods to overseas markets. Participant were walked through live examples in order to learn how to navigate export paperwork.
At the end of each seminar, participants asked questions and discussed what they’d learnt in order to clarify doubts and make sure no stone was left unturned.
This training happened in January 2021. Since then, all 48 participants gave positive feedback on their learning outcomes and are transacting new deals thanks to their new knowledge (and confidence). To help further still, SITA has translated the learning programme into a training manual. Not only does the manual give the participants a package of learning materials to refer back to, but it has also been published for further use.