Attacking market constraints with data
ELAN RDC and Eastern African Grain Council (EAGC) have begun the instalment of the RATIN market information system in the East and South Region (www.ratin.net). With a network of border and market monitors, RATIN will publish daily updates on market prices and both formal and informal cross-border trade volumes across the two regions.
By improving market transparency ELAN RDC hopes to support the rationalisation of prices, improve both domestic and cross-border structured grain trade and inform data-driven policy discussions. Regional and national stakeholders from the public and private sectors as well as NGOs can make use of the market data, leading to better-informed decisions.
Border monitors will be present by the end of July 2018 to feed data into the system at the Kasindi, Mahagi, Bunagana (Uganda), Goma, Bukavu, Kamanyola (Rwanda), Uvira (Burundi) and Kasumbelesa (Zambia) borders and market monitors at the Bunia, Beni, Butembo, Rutshuru, Goma, Bukavu, Uvira, Likasi, Kolwezi and Lubumbashi markets.
EAGC will complement this market information system with a training on structured grain trade for stakeholders in the East and South of the DRC in July. The training will focus on EAC grain quality standards as well as storage and trade best practices. To date, 10 grain trade stakeholders have paid the $400 membership fee to become full-fledged members of the EAGC network which will enable them to grow their production and trade. ELAN RDC aims to increase the trade of grains from the DRC to neighboring countries by 25%.
ELAN RDC and The African Seed Access Index (TASAI) presented a 13-point seed sector strategy for the South and East Regions in Kinshasa on July 4th. The strategy is based on the quantitative assessment of the DRC seed sector as compared to 12 other African countries and seeks to address key constraints to enable the development of a private sector-led seed sector in the DRC.
On July 26, ELAN RDC, TASAI and EAGC will present our work to the community of donors in Kinshasa in an effort to align existing programming with private sector development approaches and inform future programming.
The draft strategies, currently being revised, include:
Review of the DRC seed law
Strengthening of local production systems
Strengthening of local private seed companies
Clarification of cross-border trade mechanisms
Strengthening the Provincial Seed Councils (COPROSEM)
Supporting the National Seed Service (SENASEM)
Strengthening national and provincial breeding programs
Organisation of the emergency relief market
Strengthening of rural agro-dealer networks
Supporting the development of national and provincial seed associations
Improving variety release and registration procedures
Strengthening agricultural extension services for farmers
Improving access to finance for seed companies