For Immediate Release
ASARECA’s General Assembly to tackle hunger, poverty
25th November, 2011; Kampala, Uganda…. Over 350 senior agricultural scientists, researchers, farmers and policy makers from ten countries in East and Central Africa are expected in Uganda in December to deliberate on critical issues affecting the agricultural sector, and come up with science based, social and policy solutions to address these concerns.
Agriculture constitutes over 43% of the GDP of Eastern and Central Africa. However, the sector is facing scientific, social, economic and environmental challenges, which according to Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) can be addressed through enhanced sustainable use of resources and regional collaboration.
“The objective of this high level meeting is to create a forum for developing a shared vision and shared goals to enhance sustainable agriculture, to bring about economic growth and improved livelihoods in our region,” ASARECA’s Executive Director, Dr, Seyfu Ketema said, during the media launch organized to kick off events leading to the general assembly.
The theme of the General Assembly to be held from December 14-16 at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe is: “Feeding our region in the 21st century”.
President Yoweri Museveni is expected to grace the opening ceremony. Over 10 ministers in charge of agriculture from Eastern and Central Africa and 10 Director Generals of Agricultural Research Institutes the region are among the guests expected at the conference.
Dr. Ketema observed that with a growing population, the region needs to come together and formulate “strategic guidelines in agricultural research for development, extension, and agricultural training and education; which will contribute to feeding the region in the 21st Century.”
During the conference some of the top brains in agricultural research in Africa and globally, agricultural economics, agricultural and trade policy experts among others are will deliberate on a host of issues that affect the region, such as the role of science and technology and its contribution in feeding today’s population as well as issues of climate change.
“We will also look for strategies that will enable us deal with volatile food prices: drivers and impacts on food security in eastern and central Africa, and evaluate the progress made towards the implementing of the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP), which is spearheaded by the African Union Commission,” Seyfu noted.
The delegates will include ten patron agriculture ministers, scientists, farmers and development partners among other stakeholders from the ten member countries as well as other interested parties from all over the world. An exhibition will take place alongside the general assembly.
ASARECA is a non-political organization of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of 10 countries: Burundi, D. R. Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. It aims at increasing the efficiency of agricultural research in the region so as to facilitate economic growth, food security and export competitiveness through productive and sustainable agriculture.
ASARECA was established, following the approval of the "Framework for Action for Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa", by a meeting of stakeholders held in Kampala, Uganda, in November 1993. This stakeholders' meeting was attended by leaders of the national agricultural research institutes (NARIs) and faculties of agricultural research, as well as representatives of development agencies that are active in agricultural research in the region. However, Asareca became operation in October 1994 with the establishment of a secretariat in Entebbe, Uganda. Asareca is governed by the board of directors with the executive director responsible for the day to day running of the organization.
For more information, contact Charles Nsamba, Asareca GA Media Center, Email: Charles@mediagepr.com,. +256 (0) 712-353339
For more information about ASARECA, please visit www.asareca.org.