Global Alliance Africa attend 9th Eldoret Agribusiness Trade Fair

Posted on: 06/10/2022

Before the Coronavirus pandemic, the University of Eldoret fruitfully played host to the Agribusiness Trade Fair in Eldoret for 8 years in a row. In 2020 and 2021, the 9th edition of the Agribusiness Trade Fair was crippled by the pandemic which had a deep impact on mass gatherings across different sectors globally. Global Alliance Africa at Innovate UK KTN were delighted to attend this year's event in person.

The 9th edition of the Agribusiness Trade Fair in Eldoret made a comeback in September 2022, bigger and more vibrant as an annual meeting place for key agricultural players in Kenya, attracting over 5000 local farmers, 30 exhibitors, and thousands attendees; students, visitors and participants within the East African Community providing a great opportunity for growers to interact with exporters to learn about emerging markets, technologies and innovations that would make their operations more profitable.

Innovate UK KTN attended the Agribusiness Trade Fair event to explore opportunities and synergies of the Agribusiness Trade Fair to the Global Alliance Africa project objectives, and to inform future collaboration possibilities with the University of Eldoret to denote if the event would be a good market place to showcase UK technologies and innovations as well as examine export/import ready agricultural products and services in the future.

The annual event was prime for meeting leading Agriculture players in the Agriculture sector in the region. These linkages are key in helping Innovate UK KTN expand its networks and footprint in the Agriculture space in Africa. The event also provided a platform to meet strategic partners to engage in the upcoming Market Access forum organised by the Eldoret Innovation Network Advisory Board on 5th October 2022.

This year’s event was themed “Promoting Innovation and Technology in Agriculture and Trade”. It was hosted at the University of Eldoret on 22nd, 23rd and 24th, September 2022 with the ultimate goal of furnishing farmers, service providers and industry suppliers with a distinct opportunity to exhibit their products for bench-marking and trade, unmasking agricultural sector stakeholders to new technologies and ideas for better efficiencies, improving earnings and quality, providing a platform for short seminars and demonstrations to small scale and large scale players.

Basil Malaki, Knowledge Transfer Manager at Global Alliance Africa Innovate UK KTN, who attended the event, asserts that,

The Eldoret Agribusiness Trade Fair is the leading agricultural market-place not only in the North Rift region but arguably in Kenya and beyond. There is an opportunity for companies and development partners to seek for innovative solutions to improve efficiencies to reduce costs to farmers and to provide value-added services.

The event attracts breeders, local farmers, professional organisations and agricultural professional syndicates, different ministries, research institutes, among others to a platform where everybody contributes to present all the aspects of the sector and the perspectives of evolution in agriculture.

A manually operated multi nozzle sprayer. Developed by students of the University of Eldoret for small scale farmers. Photo by Basil Malaki.
A manually operated multi nozzle sprayer. Developed by students of the University of Eldoret for small scale farmers. Photo by Basil Malaki.

The three-day packed schedule of events included farmers training, demonstration plot tours, dairy chain arena, agri-tech talks, Eldoret ASK ploughing contest, farm inputs suppliers e.g. seeds, fertilisers and chemicals, fish farming and crop demonstration plot, grain handling and processing; tailored sessions with farm machinery and equipment suppliers, livestock exhibition and dairy equipment suppliers.

The trade fair incorporates major players along the value chain, namely suppliers, processors, traders, researchers, ICT, among others providing new business, increasing brand awareness, presenting networking opportunities, and giving the chance to learn more about the agriculture sector.

To bridge the gap between farmers and financial institutions, service providers (banks, insurance companies, and academic institutions) play a critical knowledge transfer role, enlightening farmers with relevant information they need. There were plenty of materials for take away, including some do-it-yourself (DIY) brochures. Attendees got a chance to see, test and negotiate for farm and other agro-industry services and products.

The presence of banks provided an opportunity for negotiating for loans to facilitate farmers to drive home new tractors and or herds of high breed livestock. The Eldoret Agribusiness Trade Fair provided an important focal point for sharing critical knowledge while showcasing technological innovations and best practices within Eldoret County and beyond.

In an effort to identify elements that create a sustainable ecosystem for agricultural development and strengthen collaboration among key ecosystem stakeholders, Innovate UK KTN and the Eldoret Innovation Network Advisory Board (EINAB) in collaboration with Kikao64 Hub, the Uasin Gishu chapter of the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce (UG-KNCCI) hosted a Market Access forum for farmers this week.

The interactive forum brought together select marketers and farmers from Uasin Gishu county to explore challenges and opportunities of trading within the agricultural space in Eldoret, with a particular focus on Indigenous African Vegetables (IAV’s).

Follow us at @KTN_Global for more project updates.

About Global Alliance Africa

The Global Alliance Africa project is a six-year project funded by UK Aid through Innovate UK (GCRF) and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). Four project-level interventions were piloted in 2021 in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with one of the interventions focused on Open Innovation.

For more information about the project, please visit https://ktn-uk.org/programme/africa.

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