All over Africa highly arbitrary political boundaries cut across
agro-ecological zones and natural market areas, impeding formal trade
flows and separating regions that experience regular food surpluses from
those that commonly experience deficits. Improving connections between
population centres and food production areas would benefit both
producers and consumers, and support food security. The recent
development of local and regional agro-processing value chains in Africa
demonstrates the potential for significant gains in terms of
accelerating these processes. Improving trade in food staples – whether
cross-border or domestic – can connect deficit and surplus areas and
reduce price volatility. It can also be positive for consumers and
producers, in particular smallholders, and can drive inclusive poverty
reduction and increased food security.
This paper examines the role of grain warehouses in the East African
region, and in particular in Kenya, in relation to the functioning of
the maize value chain, and argues that the evolving system of
certification and receipting demonstrates an important complementarity
between hard (physical) and ‘soft’ infrastructure for the development
and greater inclusiveness of the grain value chain.
Engel, J.; Jouanjean, M-A.; Omanga, P. Infrastructure for the participation of smallholders in modern value chains: lessons from the development of warehouse certification and receipting systems for maize in Kenya. ODI, London, UK (2015) 39 pp.
Infrastructure for the participation of smallholders in modern value chains: lessons from the development of warehouse certification and receipting systems for maize in Kenya