ETG Logistics – Supporting African Farms

We learn how ETG has grown out of Africa’s agricultural sector into a global supply chain manager, and is using that leverage to continue supporting Africa’s farms.

ETG was established in Kenya in 1967. Their focus was general trade and distribution until the current promoters saw the dire need to support the agriculture sector, and primarily distribution of agriculture to deficit areas. ETG has developed into a global player with a diverse portfolio of expertise across multiple industries, encompassing agricultural inputs, logistics, merchandising and processing, supply chain optimisation, digital transformation and energy.

The existing supply chain strength nurtured over five decades, supported by the vast infrastructure ETG has acquired to promote trade, resulted in the formation of the ETG Logistics vertical. The vertical has a presence in more than 20 African countries, with a mission to facilitate trade between Africa & India, China & Middle East.

ETG Logistics (ETGL) thrives upon three unique selling prepositions.

Firstly, ETGL has a wealth of local expertise and in-depth knowledge of Africa, accumulated over half a century. The second is its strong asset base in major African countries, encompassing transportation, warehousing and port-related infrastructure. Finally, the widespread presence across sub-Saharan Africa, has enabled the group to become a formidable player within the logistical space. Apart from creating operational reach to 25 countries in Africa, ETG Logistics has set up sales offices in India, China, and Europe.

ETG Logistics strives to overcome the barrier within logistics on the continent. ETG operates in low-Income IDA/FCS countries and are focused in providing support to small-scale farmers. Through the group’s strategic approach, they are in close proximity to farm-gate. A two-way trade flow platform supports approximately 1,100,000 smallholder farmers, providing access to quality agricultural inputs and creating an access to market through procurement of product. Through this structure, ETG plays an important role in SSA region from a development impact perspective and as supplier into the global food basket.  At the core of this two-directional model, is ETG Logistics. This structure has been difficult to replicate by the group’s peers. The synergies between ETG’s verticals covering agricultural inputs, exchange traded commodities, FMCG and a variety of cash crops create a natural risk mitigant, giving the group the agility to explore opportunities in remote areas. This in turn has a huge impact on African communities. Accessibility to quality input led to improved yields and infrastructure such as warehousing and silos in close proximity to farmgate enables farmers to take a “long position”, allowing them to build a position and to sell at best market levels. The group has spent a significant amount of capital towards establishing processing capacity across Africa, giving jobs to people in remote areas, where opportunity is scarce.

From Farm to Plate

ETG envisions a world where it transcends limitations; while positively impacting the lives of all its partners. The ETG vision captures the drive that turned a Kenyan company into a pan-African player, enabled to distribute a variety of commodities across the continent, including areas where opportunity is scarce.

By servicing the full supply chain – from quality and affordable agricultural inputs, to processing, to distribution, ETG contributes to the wellbeing of millions of people. Our passion still lies with the upliftment of African Farmer communities and the group remains fully committed to making a lasting and positive impact across the regions within which we operate. Traditionally in Africa, and this continues to be the case even now, road transport, warehousing and port infrastructure is not up to standards, and challenges related to transportation and infrastructure to carry goods to port locations, and borders are still creating huge obstacles.

ETG has been effectively addressing these challenges, around infrastructure in particular. The company has been building the necessary warehousing infrastructure to fulfil its vision. ETG, today, manages more than 450 warehouses spread across the continent. ETG has also invested in close to 600 trucks that primarily operate across Eastern and Southern Africa.

ETG logistics believe that their most valuable assets are their people. When it comes to manpower resources, the group has a number of training and development programs. To embrace the Fourth Industrial revolution, ETGL has invested in technology, with GPS enabled devices and an online transportation platform, called TOL – Transport on Line, that helps to aggregate supply and demand of trucks. TOL is currently operational in Tanzania.

Apart from providing logistics services, ETG Logistics also offers mechanisation and mobility solutions, with a wide spectrum of farm mechanisation equipment catering to the needs of not only small holding farmers but also large commercial farmers. The product range includes the recently launched VST Tillers and Tractors range that cover tractors from 13.7 kW to 37.3 kW. Under this brand, ETGL also has small farm mechanisation implements like power weeders, power reapers and power tillers ranging from 3.7 kW to 11.8 kW. This range is ideally suited for small and emerging farmers where affordable mechanization is a key requirement. For larger, commercial farmers, ETGL will also be offering the Belarus tractor range with engine outputs in the 42 kW to 333 kW range.

Apart from tractor distribution, ETGL offers support to smallholding farmers who cannot afford to buy tractors, with its recently launched online tractor rental platform called ‘Rent-a-Tractor’ in Tanzania and South Africa. This holistic approach to equipping farms, supporting them, and transporting their goods is showing the way towards a truly pan-African agricultural supply chain.

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