ASARECA comprises 14 member countries: Burundi, Cameroun, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
It is in these member countries that ASARECA work is implemented. Ideally, this is premised on prior identified priorities agreed on by ASARECA and the member National Agricultural Research System (NARS). This is achieved through deliberations organised by ASARECA Secretariat, the ASARECA Council of Patron Ministers and the Committee of Director General of the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs) supported by their various subject matter specialists and other national AR4D experts, stakeholders and clients.
ASARECA Stakeholders and clients:
The key ASARECA Stakeholders are:
- National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs)
- Ministries of Agriculture
- National Agricultural Extension Service agencies and umbrella bodies
- The Private Sector
- Associated NGOs
- Farmer’s associations
- Associations of processors of agricultural products and service providers
- Associations of agricultural businesses and related marketing agents
- Consumer associations
- Organized women and youth groups working in agriculture
- International agricultural research centres;
- Investors and development partners
Context and background to ASARECA work
Smallholder farmers in Eastern and Central Africa face similar challenges. Many use poor quality inputs such as seeds and farm implements. Their farms are often under the threat of attack by menacing pests, diseases and weeds. This situation is aggravated by variable weather and declining natural resource base; lack of access to input and output markets, and limiting trade policies. As a result, farmers get poor yields from their crops and animals leading to high levels of poverty.
Although all these can be tackled at national level, the national systems have inadequate capacities to manage these challenges comprehensively. ASARECA is addressing these challenges in a regionally coordinated manner by working with critical partners that include farmers; national, regional and international research institutions, extension and training organizations; public and private sector actors, NGOs, Regional Economic Communities and development agencies.
Over the last two and a half decades, projects supported by ASARECA have developed and promoted innovations and management practices such as improved varieties and seeds, water management, integrated soil fertility, agronomic packages, storage, value addition and marketing; and improved animal husbandry practices and fisheries management.
Benefits to households and individual farmers: A total of 228,349 rural households benefited directly from ASARECA-related support initiatives, and over 1.37 million individuals directly benefited from an assortment of ASARECA supported initiatives. Furthermore, 56,228 farmers and other stakeholders accessed and used new technologies, innovations and management practices (TIMPs) generated and availed for uptake from ASARECA supported project interventions.
Generated or improved technologies, innovations and management practices: A total of 364 different TIMPs were either generated or improved to suit farmers’ demands. A total of 435 demand-driven gender-responsive TIMPs were availed for uptake by targeted stakeholders.
Quality pre-basic, basic and certified seeds: Over 1,000 ha of land was dedicated to improved TIMPs, especially for production and multiplication of quality pre-basic, basic and certified seeds. Over 800 metric tons of quality seed of selected crops were produced and either sold or distributed to farmers for further multiplication.
Reclamation of degraded lands and watersheds: Over 5,000 ha of highly degraded lands and watersheds were reclaimed through ASARECA supported initiatives. This enabled the targeted households to have steady water supply for domestic and farm use.
Establishment of enabling policy environment: ASARECA has contributed to the establishment of enabling policy environments through participation in the review of existing policies, laws, regulations and management practices. A total of 89 policies, laws, regulations and procedures were analysed, 39 presented for legislation and dialogue, while 37 were approved by national legislative bodies, the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
Infrastructure capacity strengthening and partnership: As part of enhancing capacity strengthening of the NARS, over 400 assorted infrastructure and facilities were provided to targeted partner institutions particularly the weaker NARIs.