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Eastern and Central Africa researchers fine-tune agriculture transformation project

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Eastern and Central Africa researchers fine-tune agriculture transformation project

The Eastern and Central Africa Agriculture Transformation Project (ECAATP) stakeholders conducted the regional project Pre-Appraisal Mission from April 4 to 13, 2018 to double-check if all is set to kick-off ECAATP implementation

The workshop was convened by the Government of Kenya in collaboration with the World Bank in Nakuru, Kenya. Addressing delegates from the six ECAATP countries, the World Bank Task Team Leader in charge of ECAATP, Dr. Elliot Mghenyi, noted that the meeting was meant to generate further discussion to update the country project proposals and develop other critical documents to inform the final ECAATP Project Appraisal Document (PAD).

He stressed that the design of ECAATP should: confirm that the project builds on lessons learnt from the implementation of its predecessor, the Eastern Africa Agricultural Productivity Project (EAAPP); ensure that ECAATP arrangements are consistent with Bank’s Procurement, Fiduciary and Environmental Social Safeguards policies; and ensure that commitments in the ECAATP results framework are feasible, achievable and transformative.

Access to markets is key

Addressing participants, the Minister of Agriculture for Nakuru County, Kenya, Dr. Immaculate Maina said the Kenyan Government was taking keen interest in efforts to create a conducive policy environment to enable free market access.

“The Government of Kenya is interested in how regional value chains play out. For most ECAATP countries, most national resources are placed in productivity and less to market policy environment and value chains,” said Maina.  “We look forward to the role of ECAATP in strengthening market systems to drive production and productivity.”

Research and extension must intersect

Representatives of Permanent Secretariat from Republic of the Congo, DR Congo, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi agreed that ECAATP must articulate the convergence between research and extension.

ECAATP is expected to be rolled out in September 2018, after all conditions for appraisal for a project of its magnitude have been fulfilled. The Nakuru meeting was mainly meant to take stock of what has been achieved in preparation for approval and launch. Some of the key reqirements that must be met before final appraisal and approval include:

  • Completion and disclosure of Environmental Social Safeguards documents.
  • Completion of the Project Implementation Manual clarifying roles and responsibilities of various actors, sequencing activities and implementation steps, describing implementation roles and steps for national and regional activities, clarifying steps that ASARECA will follow to coordinate the project, defining the implementation of M&E and knowledge management.
  • Completion of guidleines for Matching Grants.
  • Completion of  the Financial Management Manual; and completion of the Procurement Strategy.

About ECAATP

ECAATP is an ambitious multi-million-dollar regional transformation initiative of the governments of Burundi, Kenya, DRCongo, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda with financing from the World Bank. It is uniquely designed to leverage on human and infrastructural resources of the countries to undertake collaborative research for development and facilitate cross border sharing of research products to catalyze agricultural transformation.

ECAATP development objective is to enhance regional collaboration to increase productivity, climate resilience, and smallholder farmer access to the regional market for food commodities and products.

ECAATP commodities

The project will focus on selected commodities namely: cassava, rice, dairy, wheat, poultry, beans, oilseed crops, maize, and land husbandry and management. The commodities were selected because of their potential for the market-led transformation agenda and enabling farmers to access regional markets. The commodities embody the following characteristics of regional value chains:

  • Multiple countries in the region are importing them and there is scope for increasing their production from within the region to re-capture the market.
  • There are surplus and deficit countries but commodities or products are not moving from surplus to deficit countries due to policy issues or other barriers.
  • There is enormous scope for value addition within the region for export markets outside the region or to meet demand from within.
  • They provide opportunities for the women and youth to invest in value chains given the peculiar constraints faced by the youth and promise of integrating them in value chains.
  • They provide opportunities to improve nutrition outcomes and promote long-term development of human capital.

Article by Ben Moses Ilakut, ASARECA Communication Unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date Published: 
Monday, 14 May 2018