ASARECA praised for making EAAPP a reality
ASARECA has been praised for providing mechanisms and technical backstopping for regional centres of excellence to work together and share technologies, Innovations and Management Practices during EAAPP Phase 1.
Addressingparticipants at the opening ceremony for Eastern Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme end of Phase 1 Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, the Principle Secretary, State Department of Livestock, Prof. Fred Segor, said through ASARECA support, the EAAPP member countries demonstrated comparative advantage in dairy, cassava, wheat and rice and started to share their comparative advantage to member countries.
“EAAPP presents a paradigm shift in the way Agriculture is done in the region,” he said. “EAAPP promoted best practices, which are key to increasing productivity. When you give an animal what it wants or a plant what it desires, you will get the results that you desire.”
The EAAPP National Coordinator for Kenya, Jane Muriuki, said, without ASARECA’s well executed role of bringing regional teams to plan together, develop methods of work and network, it would have been an uphill task to share the benefits of EAAPP.
Ms Muriuki said, besides convening the teams, ASARECA provided a monitoring and evaluation framework, which enabled EAAPP to stay on track. “ASARECA provided EAAPP one of the best data capture systems in the region, that is why we are able to effectively measure our level of achievement and challenges,” said Muriuki.
The Regional Commissioner for Morogoro Region in Tanzania, Dr Rajab Rutengwe, like many speakers, singled out ASARECA policy harmonization efforts to facilitate the movement of germplasm and commodities across member countries as important ingredients in EAAPP.
Ms Jane Muriuki said, EAAPP impacted over 1 million farming households in the participating countries. She noted that 138 new technologies were developed during EAAPP Phase 1. Out of these, 23 innovations were shared across member countries. She said, beyond brining 128 scientists to work together, EAAPP networked over 600 researchers in cassava, dairy, wheat and rice in Eastern and Central Africa.
ASARECA Interim Executive Secretary, Prof. Wachira, said ASARECA was a strategic partner in EAAPP, because the agro-ecologies of the four EAAPP countries are similar, offering shared production systems and market opportunities. “Technology investments in one country can create substantial benefits in others. This calls for collaboration and sharing of information and technologies across borders,” said Prof. Wachira. “It is for this reason that ASARECA was called upon to optimize its 20-year experience in coordinating agricultural research for development initiatives in its 11 member countries to enable EAAPP deliver its objectives.”
The conference was jointly organized by ASARECA and the four EAAPP implementing countries of Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. A total of 250 participants attended the conference. They were drawn from EAAPP implementing countries; representatives form the West African Agricultural Productivity Programm (WAAPP), the Agricultural Productivity Programme for Southern Africa (APPSA), the World Bank and other development partners, representatives of beneficiaries, the Consultative Group on Agriculture, NGOs, the private sector, farmers and farmer organizations.
Written by Ben Moses Ilakut
Communications, Public Relations Unit and Knowledge Hub-ASARECA