NAIROBI, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government signed an agreement on Monday with an agro-processing and food distribution firm Twiga Foods, to help create small manufacturing parks for food crops to help expand the reach of the Kenyan food products to the Eastern Africa regional market.
Kenya's President William Ruto, who witnessed the signing of the agreement in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, said the company would work towards creating regional delivery hubs for food exports to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and across the Central African region following DRC's entry into the East African Community (EAC).
Ruto who also witnessed the launching of a regional food distribution center located at the Tatu City Industrial Park in Ruiru, Kiambu County on the outskirts of Nairobi, said the objective of financing the establishment of an efficient retail network was to oversee the reduction in the cost of foodstuffs.
"We are witnessing the establishment of a pioneer and imaginative food distribution technology which helps to convert food into non-perishable forms. These are later distributed to 140,000 retailers with almost 2 million daily food deliveries," Ruto said.
Under the agreement, the government would ensure smallholder farmers producing food for distribution through Twiga Foods would access loans from a newly created Fund for micro and small enterprises to finance their capital requirements to sustain production towards the regional market.
Ruto said the three-party agreement signed between the two ministries and the Kenyan start-up, which uses electronic commerce to enhance the distribution of its food products to homes, would also focus on facilitating Twiga Foods to export food products throughout Africa under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Ruto said the collaboration would enhance the share of the Kenyan produce trading within the EAC, the Common Market for Eastern Africa and the AfCFTA, which are expanded regional markets.
He said the improved efficiency in the distribution of foodstuffs would also be advantageous to the Kenyan economy and the regional market because it would lead to improved intra-African trade.
"We shall demonstrate what a food collection center can do in transforming trade. We hope to use this kind of technology to increase the level of intra-African trade from 13 percent to 70 percent," Ruto said. ■