The 15th EAC Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security (SCAFS) is currently underway at the Four Points by Sheraton in Dar es salaam, Tanzania.
The meeting started on Monday, 21st March 2022, with the Session of Senior Officials which will end on Wednesday, 23rd March, 2022.
According to organisers, the Coordination Committee or the Session of Permanent/Principal/Under Secretaries is slated for Thursday, 24th March, 2022 and the Ministerial session on Friday, 25th March, 2022.
Among the items on the agenda of the 15th SCAFS are the consideration of the reports on; EAC regional Food and Nutrition Security; progress in the implementation of previous Council and Sectoral Council directives; implementation of the EAC CAADP programme as well as harmonization of farm inputs; livestock, fisheries and aquaculture development.
In addition, the meeting will consider resource mobilization to support Agriculture Interventions and receive and discuss a report on the Competitive African Rice Initiative in East Africa (CARI-EA) project.
Addressing the Senior Official session, the EAC Deputy Secretary General (DSG) – Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo acknowledged the significant progress that had been registered in implementing the planned activities and directives of the Sectoral Council and Council of Ministers despite challenges associated with the pandemic and resource gap.
“We have made a great stride in enabling good environment of the agricultural sector by ensuring availability and access to inputs; enhancing performances of agricultural value chains and agribusinesses and transformation of COVID19 lessons into opportunities”
He added that the region is also tapping and drawing collective lessons from the region’s mixed performances in terms of achievement of the June 2014 CAADP Malabo Declaration commitments,
The Deputy Secretary General noted that despite the positive strides agriculture sector in the region still facing inadequate financial support from Partner States Budget which continues to jeopardize steady progress towards the implementation of set priorities actions.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank all Development Partners especially USAID Kenya and East Africa (USAID/KEA, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Germany Government, Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through the GIZ Global Programme for Pandemic Prevention and Response under One Health approach, for your support in Agriculture and Food Security the region”
The DSG pledged the commitment of the EAC Secretariat towards creating an enabling environment for development of the agricultural sector in the region, particularly catalysing increased agricultural production, and productivity to achieve nutrition and food security, to enhance performances of agricultural value chains and agribusinesses as well as promoting regional and international trade of agricultural produce.
On her part, Dr. Mary Mwale, the Head of Food Security Unit at Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries in the Republic of Kenya reiterated the need for stronger collaboration between the EAC Partner States, which would further contribute to the ongoing quest for harmonization of approaches towards boosting agricultural productivity and food security in the region