ECAAT's four transformation components

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Delegates from Burundi discuss final plans for ECAAT

Delegations for the National Agricultural Research Education and Extension Systems (NARES) of seven African countries have discussed and validated four components that they see as the pillars of the Eastern and Central Africa Agriculture Transformation Project (ECAAT).

Explaining the choice of components, World’ Bank’s Task Team Leader for ECAAT, Dr. Elliot Mghenyi, said Agriculture in Africa is of low productivity and driven by area expansion  instead of productivity growth.  Dr. Mghenyi, noted that new technology and inputs, new varieties and management practices and efficient application of technology and sustainable agricultural intensification of total factor productivity was the golden opportunity to transform African agriculture.

With this at the back of their minds, the country teams, enjoined by the CGIAR, the World Bank and ASARECA, engaged in intense discussions, consultations and plenary debate in Arusha, Tanzania. The outcome was a validation of four components as summarized below:

Component 1: Regional commodity programs

This component is about enhancing regional collaboration in the development of agricultural technologies, innovations, and management practices (TIMPS) for selected commodities. The component is organized into two sub-components namely; establishment and strengthening of regional and National Centers of Leadership/Specialization; collaborative development, transfer, and dissemination of agricultural technologies.

Component 2: Agriculture education, skills development, and service delivery

The component is meant to provide the current and future workforce with critical knowledge and skills that promote faster technical change in agriculture, especially in technology development and innovations to improve access to markets, meet the needs of private sector agribusinesses and the public sector. This includes policy analysis on people likely to be employed by the food system now and in the future; encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in transforming agricultural value chains and linking primary agriculture with the emerging food system and formal markets.The sub-components include establishing Regional Centers of Leadership in agricultural education; enhancing skills of stakeholders along the value chain and innovation grants for service delivery.

Component 3: Agricultural markets and enabling policies

The objectives of this component include creating an enabling policy and regulatory environment for regional collaboration in development, transfer, and exchange of technologies; improving smallholder farmer’s access to regional and national markets for food commodities and products.  Its sub components include enabling policies, and linking small-holder farmers to markets.

Component 4: Regional Coordination and Project Management

This component is meant to coordinate the project at the regional and national levels by facilitating the planning, development, transfer, exchange, and dissemination of TIMPS across participating countries. It is meant to create strong partnership with similar regional projects in West Africa (WAATP) and Southern Africa (APPSA), transferring and disseminating TIMPs developed under EAAPP to new countries, as well as scaling-out TIMPs developed in later stages of EAAPP to all participating countries; mainstreaming of climate-smart and nutrition-sensitive agriculture into the priority regional commodities; enhancing the role of private sector in selection, and planning among others.

Article by Ben Moses Ilakut-ASARECA communications unit



Date Published: 
Sunday, 19 November 2017