Who we are

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The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) is a not-for-profit sub-regional organization of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of 11 member countries, namely: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

ASARECA brings together scientists from the national agricultural research institutions of the member countries, national agricultural extension service providers and other strategic development oriented partners to generate, share and promote knowledge and innovations to solve common challenges facing agriculture in the member countries.


ASARECA’s vision is to be a regional leader in agricultural research and development for improved livelihoods in Eastern and Central Africa.


To enhance regional collective action in agricultural research for development, extension and agricultural training and education to promote economic growth, fight poverty, eradicate hunger and enhance sustainable use of resources in Eastern and Central Africa.

Central to ASARECA's vision and mission is the recognition of the value of regional collaboration among member countries to overcome poverty and hunger and foster the development aims of broad-based economic growth, poverty eradication and improved livelihood. ASARECA sees improved delivery and impact of scientific knowledge, policy options and technologies as a powerful instrument to drive the sub-region towards meeting the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Program (CAADP) targets and the Science Agenda, as guided by the Malabo Declaration on accelerated agricultural growth and transformation, as well as previous declarations of the African Union's, New Economic Partnership for African Development (AU/NEPAD).


ASARECA is guided by an overall goal that focuses on, “Enhanced sustainable productivity, value added and competitiveness of the sub- regional agricultural system”.


This is also supported by an operative purpose hinged on ensuring and sustaining “Enhanced equitable access and utilization of agricultural research and development innovations in eastern and central Africa”.

ASARECA’s five results areas

In order to deliver the anticipated results and impacts on the targeted communities, ASARECA intends to ensure that “gender-responsive governance and management” are strengthened, besides aiming at achieving the following results:

  • Appropriate technologies, innovations, and management practices (TIMPs) adapted and/or generated
  • Appropriate innovations, and management practices (TIMPs) disseminated and upscaled
  • Appropriate policy analysis and advocacy enhanced in the Eastern and Central Africa sub-region
  • Stakeholder capacity for innovation strengthened in the ECA sub-region
  • Communication, information and knowledge management improved.

Our key partners

One of the major objectives of ASARECA is to develop policies and programs aimed at deepening co-operation in agricultural research and policy among its member countries for the mutual benefit of all the stakeholders in the agricultural sector. Our key stakeholders include:

  • National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs)
  • International Agricultural Research Centres (IARc)
  • Universities and advanced agricultural research for development centres
  • Investors and private sector
  • Donors /development partners.
  • Farmer's associations
  • National and sub-regional associations that coordinate agricultural research, extension, training and education
  • Associations of processors of agricultural products
  • Associations of agricultural service providers
  • Associations of agricultural businesses and related marketing agents
  • Consumer associations
  • Organized women and youth groups working in agriculture
  • Non-governmental associations working in agricultural research and development.

Towards CAADP and the Science Agenda

ASARECA is positioned to contribute towards achieving the AU/NEPAD vision by using strong partnerships at all levels. ASARECA serves as a forum for promoting regional agricultural research and strengthening relations between National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS), in the sub-region, the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and advanced agricultural research centers. ASARECA has expanded its initiatives and leadership in linking agricultural research to the political dialogue possible in the East African Community (EAC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and AU/NEPAD.

The ASARECA’s strategic plan (2007-2016) and both the first (2009-2013) and second operational plans (2014-2018) have been aligned to the CAADP and the Science agenda. ASARECA significantly contributes directly to the CAADP Pillar IV, while also supporting the other 3 Pillars in joint collaborations with other like-minded institutions and partners.

ASARECA currently operates a hybrid approach that combines programmes into specific themes. Four themes (Natural Resources Management and Ecosystem Services; Markets, Market Linkages and Trade; Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security; and Knowledge and Information Hub) are currently operational. The themes have significant potential in enhancing regional collective action in agricultural research for development in the member countries.

ASARECA Secretariat

ASARECA secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Association. The secretariat is based in Entebbe, Uganda and has committed and dedicated technical and support staff, tasked to implement the regional mandate of ASARECA. The Executive Director (ED) heads the Secretariat and is responsible for ensuring its efficient functioning and reports to the Board of Directors.

ASARECA Board of Directors

The Board of Directors consists of the directors of the National Agricultural Research Institutes in the 11 member countries together with representatives from faculties of Agricultural Sciences, extension, CGIAR, private sector in the region. The Board is responsible for providing the policy oversight for the organization.

Composition of the Board of Directors:

The Board has the following members:

  • Eleven Director Generals of the National Agricultural Research Institutions of the 11 ASARECA member countries.
  • One representative of the farmers’ organization or associations in the sub-region.
  • One representative of the development partners.
  • One representative of the universities in the sub region.
  • One representative of the private sector firms and businesses in the sub-region.
  • One representative of the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the sub-region.
  • One representative of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
  • One representative of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a scientific partner in the sub-region.
  • One representative of the extension and advisory services organizations in the sub-region.
  • The Executive Director of the Secretariat as secretary and an ex-officio member.
  • Such other persons as the Board of Directors may from time to time recommend.

To view the current Board of Directors, click here:

ASARECA General Assembly

The General Assembly is non-executive and oversight organ of the Association. It consists of all stakeholders of the Association, the Business Committee; and the Board of Directors are ex-officio members of the General Assembly.

The General Assembly exercises the following functions:

  • Review the strategies, priorities, and research programs of the Association
  • Approve and confirm members of the inaugural Business Committee proposed by the Board of Directors and to appoint members of the Business Committee
  • Formulate and approve the rules of procedure of the General Assembly
  • Elect a President and the Vice President of the General Assembly
  • Serve as a platform for stakeholders to debate and identify issues affecting the Association and the development of agricultural research in the sub-region
  • Perform all other functions as may be conferred upon it by the Business Committee for the achievement of the objectives of the Association.

The ASARECA Business Committee performs the following functions:

  • Discuss, debate and take decisions on all matters referred to the General Assembly by the members of the Board.
  • Receive and review the periodic reports of the Association and such other reports submitted to it by the Board of Directors and make recommendations to the board accordingly.
  • Approve, critique and make recommendations on the strategies, priorities and way forward of the Association.
  • Receive and review the medium term plan, strategy, management, priorities, budget, programs and progress of the Association and make recommendations to the Board.
  • Formulate and approve the rules of procedure of the Business Committee
  • Perform such other duties as it shall from time to time be required to carry out by the Board of Directors.

Composition of ASARECA Business Committee

It comprises a wide range of stakeholders representing ASARECA’s expanded stakeholder base listed below:

  • Agricultural Universities in the region.
  • Representatives from the Ministries of Agriculture in the region.
  • The Civil Society.
  • Farmers’ organizations.
  • Research and Extension Institutions.
  • Development partners or donor institutions.
  • Entities in the private sector engaged in agriculture.
  • Sub regional and regional organisations, which include the Inter Governmental Authority on Development, the East African Community and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
  • Women groups engaged in agriculture in the region.

To view Current members of the Business Committee, click here:

Patron of Ministers

The ministers responsible for agricultural research and development in the 11 member countries are patrons of ASARECA. They provide direction to ASARECA and reflect national buy-in of ASARECA’s role.

Key Documents

ASARECA Strategy (2007-2016)
ASARECA Operational Plan 2 (2014-2018)
ASARECA Operational Plan 2 Highlights
Strategic Priorities for Agricultural Development in East and Africa (IFPRI Report)
ASARECA Birth as NARS Club
Board Of Directors
Members of Business Committee

Strategic Plan 2017- 2026