The East Africa Exchange (EAX) took delivery of two Top of the range mobile grain dryer/cleaner to support Rwandan farmers better manage their post-harvest.
The equipment were installed yesterday in EAX warehouses at Kayonza (Rwinakavu) and Musanze to support the cooperatives producing grains in that area and the neighboring districts in response to the Exchange’s mandate to its members cooperatives to support them with collateral management services which includes cleaning, drying and grading services according to the East Africa Community standards before they are offered for sale.
The processing of the grains this way will address the serious post-harvest challenges that farmers face, particularly higher moisture content which could result in storage losses as well as the farmers’ ability to attract a good price at the point of sale.
The top of the range PRT 250 model, which has the capacity to dry (5) metric tons per hour, was manufactured by AGREX, an Italian supplier with 45 years of experience in designing, manufacturing and selling agricultural machinery all over the world. In 2014, EAX received a grant from Access to Finance
Rwanda (AFR) to invest in developing storage and warehouse infrastructure for Rwandan farmers in order for them to process their grains to better quality and attract better prices.
Farmer cooperatives that are registered members of the Exchange have started depositing their maize in EAX certified warehouses since the beginning of this harvesting season. If harvested maize if not stored under the right moisture level of 13.5% or below (according to the EAC standards) it is likely to be exposed to aflatoxins or other microorganism infestation. EAX has about 65 farmer cooperatives for the start and have trained them on post-harvest management practices and the EAC grain standards to, but there is always the risk that farmers lack the infrastructure to ensure that they store according to the recommended moisture level. It is expected that the dryers will contribute to elevating losses emanating from storing with excessive moisture.
Since its establishment, the EAX has developed a complete ecosystem for Rwanda grain farmers with services including professional storage, cleaning, drying, grading, insurance and indemnity, warehouse receipts, warehouse receipts financing, pricing, demand and supply data, trading and trade settlement.