1st 3rd October 2013. Mombasa, Kenya. 5th Africa Grain Trade Summit. Over 250 top leaders from Africa including business executives from the private sector, including farmers, traders and millers, non-governmental organizations, development partners, financial institutions, researcher government representatives, regional bilateral institutions, and policymakers convened to discuss key issues affecting the African grain sector. This event was hosted by the Eastern Africa Grain Council (EAGC) and had as theme Africa: The Emerging Frontier for Global Investments in Grain Trade.
“We have seen in the recent past increased investment being channeled to Africa, specifically to the grain sector. There is a need to get more investments in agriculture and agribusiness so as to increase production and productivity of the African agriculture, because we need to increase the food production levels in Africa for the simple reason that Africa has become a net importer of foods, and the food import bill in Africa has already hit the 50-billion U-S dollar mark per year, and this is projected to continue increasing. And more importantly we can reverse the trends and get Africa becoming a net exporter of food and agricultural products”.
The East African Community secretariat has said aflatoxin control in grains and nuts in the region has
been ignored in the past. They said this has had serious consequences on people’s health and nutrition.
The EAC deputy secretary general in charge of productive and social sectors Jesca Eriyo yesterday said a number of people have died from ingestion of aflatoxincontaminated food, especially maize. She was speaking during the ongoing 5th African Grain Trade Summit in Mombasa.
Eriyo said the region lacks enhanced grain specific interventions such as construction of modern silos, warehouses, processing plants, and data and information exchange systems to address the problem. “The EAC is working with partners to deal with aflatoxin control,” she said.