EAX reaches out to maize cooperatives

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m_EAX reaches out to maize cooperatives

Rwanda cooperatives Agency, Director General Damien Mugabo makes a point in the meeting

The East Africa Exchange (EAX) commodities exchange market has trained maize cooperative leaders on its activities with intensions of bringing on board more cooperatives and support them to access market for their produce.

The training held at Hilltop hotel in Kigali, this August 26, 2014 was officially opened by the EAX country Manager, Dr. Kadri Alfah, and Rwanda cooperatives Agency Director General Damien Mugabo.

During the training, heads of various cooperatives received tips on how the EAX can market their produce using NASDAQ, procedure of how the exchange solicits loans on behalf of farmers, requirements needed in qualifying for loans and standards that need to be met by farmers.

Dr. Kadri Alfah said that this was an opportunity to share the EAX opportunities with cooperatives so that they can open eye  into the world of making money with assurance of quality services and access to region markets.

Mugabo, the RCA boss said that the commodity exchange has come to teach Rwandan farmers how to operate in a modern way so that as to market the produce in a more professional way.

“This is business, but it starts with you benefiting and then they also benefit. That is what the government wants, to have cooperative benefit its members. This is chance for our cooperatives to work well, get connected and get markets” he said calling on cooperative to embrace the EAX services.

While presenting on value chains and EAX warehouses, Tim Muzira, the Value Chains manager enlightened farmer on how they can improve the quality of the produce to be able to beat neighbouring countries on the market.

Muzira said the first thing is to uphold a Rwanda mark of quality and sticking to policy of government to supplying good authentic products on the market, desisting from malpractices such as black markets operations.

He revealed that EAX is in position to solicit bank loans for farmers upon harvesting their produce but the need to store and manage the stocks was crucial.

“Stock is very vital for you to work successfully with the EAX exchange and get to the markets with easy.  Your stocks should be kept well because it is money in the bank” he said.

He also explained the procedure of how the exchange solicits loans on behalf of farmers, requirements needed in qualifying for loans and standards that need to be met by farmers.

Apparently the EAX plans to provide equipment for drying the maize at a small price, packing the maize in grades and loading services on trucks among other services that will be brought on board for local cooperatives.

During the session maize cooperative also had an opportunity to enrol as members of the EAX commodity exchange, an exercise which was conducted by Carol Rugege, the EAX Membership & Outreach Manager.

Rugege said that there are three types- buyers, sellers, and the service providers (like banks) who are also supposed to abide by the rules and regulations of the exchange.

She stated that membership means a commitment to professionalism, partnership, agreeing to abide to the rules and regulations of the program, but also get time to discuss challenges and the way forward.

“The exchange does not resolve all farmers’ problems but we have identified some services that will be essential in improving your operations, and that is what we will offer” Rugege added.

 

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About the author

Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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