Grantee: Kilimo Trust
Project name: “BEST Beans Project”
Grant amount: £1,300,242
Project start date: 11th September 2015
Countries benefiting: Kenya; Rwanda; Tanzania; and Uganda
Description of the organization:
Kilimo Trust is an independent organization working on agriculture for development across the East Africa Community (EAC) Region – in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda – and more recently in the new Republic of South Sudan. It promotes regional solutions to local problems to make agricultural markets work better for the reduction of poverty and elimination of hunger. Kilimo Trust implements and manages programmes and projects in partnership with and/or on behalf of governments, international and regional organizations, and the private sector. The Trust spearheads market-driven solutions designed to “deliver the promise of the East African Common market” with respect to reducing poverty and eliminating hunger in the region.
Recent studies indicate that demand for beans in Eastern Africa remains high and unsatisfied by current
production levels. The EAC as a block produces an average of 2.8 million MT of beans annually. While Uganda and Tanzania are net exporters of beans, Kenya experiences shortages of up to 46% of the national bean demand making it the biggest bean market in the region. But despite the demand, the varieties Kenyan consumers prefer are not being produced by the supply countries in large enough quantities. This project will focus on establishing trading systems that can build the confidence of large buyers such as exporters, processors and large institutions, who hesitate to depend on local smallholders for supplies. This will break the vicious cycle typical with beans, where: those serving domestic markets resort to importation, while potential large exporters to global markets are reluctant to take orders from international markets for fear of failure to deliver. The main objective is to expand structured trade of 30,000 MT/year of beans produced by between 10,000 to 15,000MT, in response to specific market demand. By doing so, BEST will enable small
holder producers of dry beans in the EAC, to: Operate commercial production enterprises that are profitable; and Become consistent, reliable and competitive suppliers of raw and/or semi-processed beans to medium and large scale/bulk buyers and/or processors serving national, regional and international markets.