Kampala; 25th November, 2011..The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), has today entered into a partnership with the Government of Uganda's Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industries and fisheries (MAAIF) and the National Agricultural Research Organization to fight hunger and eradicate poverty in the region, especially in this 21st century.
This was disclosed during the launch of the 1st ASARECA General Assembly scheduled to take place from 14th to 16th December, 2011, in Entebbe, Uganda. Uganda will be the first of the ten member countries to host the ASARECA General Assembly, which follows the approval of ASARECA's new constitution in 2010, providing for the establishment of Patron Ministers and a General Assembly.
Speaking at the launch at the Uganda Media Center in Kampala, the Minster for Agriculture, Hon. Tress Bucyanayandi said, "Given that the bulk of the region’s population resides in the rural areas and depends on agriculture for income and sustenance, and given the low levels of productivity growth in the sector, hunger and malnutrition have deepened in East and Central Africa in the recent years. Climate change adds to the problems faced by our region, thus demanding extra effort in the fight to overcome important agricultural, social economic and environmental development challenges.”
He commended ASARECA for their strength in research which has seen the region make alot of progress in key areas in the sector, and added that the government is also playing its role, to ensure that agriculture is given priority because is a key determinant for the economy's progress.
In his remarks, the Executive Director, ASARECA, Dr. Seyfu Ketema thanked the government of Uganda as well as their key partners, including donors, for the tremendous support, and added that the theme: "Feeding our region in the 21st Century", shall eb the main focus of this assembly because food is still a major problem in the region.
"If we are able to feed all the 280 million people in our region, then most of our problems shall be managed", Ketema said.