The 14ththe Agriculture and Food Security (SCAFS) Sector Council meeting in Arusha, Tanzania, Jan.the June 2021.
As chairman of the ministerial meeting, Lawrence Angolo Omuhaka, Chief Administrative Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Cooperatives of the Republic of Kenya, noted the urgent need for the region to implement harmonized policies and operationalize regional instruments to ensure sustainable agricultural production, trade with raw materials and to achieve sustainable regional food and nutrition security.
Regarding the Comprehensive Africa Development Program for Agriculture (CAADP) – Africa’s political framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all – Mr. Omuhaka stated that AU member states need to demonstrate their commitment to the ideals and CAADP principles by following the appropriate CAADP processes.
“This will ensure that appropriate measures are in place to achieve accelerated agricultural growth and transformation for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods for the continent’s people by 2025,” said Omuhaka.
The Chief Administrative Secretary also noted with concern that the second CAADP biennial report, presented to the AU General Assembly in February 2020, showed that the East Africa region, with the exception of the Republic of Rwanda, was not on track on most objectives. He added that the report depicts countries’ absolute and relative performance, indicating that much remains to be done to transform the agricultural sector in Africa.
“As a region, we should commend the Republic of Rwanda for becoming the top performing country on the continent for the second time with a score of 7.24, which is above the minimum score of 6.66 required to be on the right track be, ”he added.
On behalf of the EAC Secretariat, Director of Productive Sectors, Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana stated that more than 70% of the industries in the EAC are agriculture-based, including the production of agricultural inputs; while 75% of the traded goods are agricultural raw materials and products.
“Linking agricultural trade and industry is therefore essential for promoting agricultural production as industry provides the market for agricultural products while trade supplies processed agricultural products to the market / consumer,” noted Havigimana.
The director stressed the need to promote and improve commercial agriculture and urged the region to learn lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the need to promote local industries. He noted that before the pandemic, the region had imported many products from outside, but they could be produced locally.
“The textile industry must be promoted instead of being dependent on the import of used towels. There is a need to encourage local consumption and the procurement of locally produced goods, as stressed by the heads of state, ”he noted.
On regional food security, the meeting noted that there was commendable commitment and progress in achieving global and continental food goals as efforts to reduce malnutrition were evident in all partner countries. However, the Sector Council noted that the levels of stunted growth, underweight and anemia are still well above the targets set out in the CAADP / Malabo Declaration. The meeting therefore concluded that the partner countries need to invest more technical and financial resources in projects and programs that have been put in place to improve food security.
The Sector Council instructed the Secretariat on the prevention and control of aflatoxin and called on the partner states to accelerate the implementation of the EAC strategy for the prevention and control of aflatoxin. Aflatoxin contamination poses a serious threat to human and animal health as well as to the economy of the EAC partner countries. The strategy contains recommendations on measures that are necessary to reduce the effects of aflatoxin along the food and feed value chain reduce.
In the area of pest control, the Sector Council has adopted standard operating procedures for the operationalization of pest risk analysis (PRA) for maize, beans and rice. In November 2019, the Council of Ministers approved harmonized procedures for carrying out pest risk analyzes (PRA) for maize, beans and rice. Subsequently, it was necessary to develop harmonized Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the inspection of grain (maize, beans and rice) in order to implement the PRAs.
In addition, the Sector Council has adopted seven other priority crops – banana, cassava, potato (commodity and seeds), sorghum, soy, peanut and pineapple – and instructed the Secretariat to begin developing a pest risk assessment (PRA) for the selected crops.
With regard to livestock development, the Sector Council directed the EAC Secretariat to develop programs and allocate resources to encourage the development of priority livestock value chains given the importance of the sector in partner country economies.
The meeting also instructed the Secretariat to finalize and disseminate the EAC Cross-Border Animal Diseases and Zoonoses Strategy 2020-2024, as well as the development of guidelines and standard operating procedures for cross-border surveillance, preparedness and response to cross-border animal experiments and zoonoses
The strategy and guidelines are intended to identify ways and means for the partner states to help contain and manage outbreaks of important cross-border animal and zoonotic diseases such as food and mouth disease (FMD), Rift Valley Fever (RVF), Peste. Collaborate des Petits Ruminants (PPR), Anthrax, Rabies, Trypanosomosis, Newcastle Disease (ND), African Swine Fever (ASF) and Theileriosis.
Ministers also noted the need for the EAC Secretariat to develop programs and allocate resources to support the development of fisheries and aquaculture in the EAC region.
Ministers recognized and took note of the various initiatives coordinated by the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) for the sustainable management and development of fisheries and aquaculture in the EAC.