What next after EAAPP Phase I?
While Phase I of the Eastern Africa Agricultural Productivity Project (EAAPP) has been rated as successful, there is fear that the achievements attained in the first round of implementation could be lost if a second phase is not approved. Accordingly, the recently published Implementation completion and Results report (ICRR) of the World Bank has scaled down the rating of the relevance of EAAPP Phase I from “high” to “substantial”.
The report explains that Phase I focused on establishment of initial arrangements, generation of technologies and management practices, strengthening regional collaboration, knowledge sharing, initial policy harmonisation efforts and developing modern agricultural research facilities.
Phase I was foundation stone
Resources invested during Phase I were dedicated to institutional change and strengthening for regional integration. One of the main objectives was preparing existing institutions to be more capable of collaborating with counterpart institutions in other countries through workshops, joint research and formal training. Support to higher education at Phd and MSC levels was geared specifically to building institutional capacity in areas of ongoing research and development, the report explains.
Phase I for scaling up
Phase I of EAAPP was meant to accelerate the scaling up of production of planting materials and dairy breeds, deepen regional corporation, contribute to further harmonisation of technology sharing policies, and enhance the utilisation of infrastructure and facilities put in place during the phase.
The ICRR report therefore notes that all triggers to proceed to the second phase were met. They include:
- All the four RCoEs implemented the project in a manner consistent with the regional plans and priorities as established, with other countries participating in EAAPP and with ASARECA.
- Research training and dissemination activities were operating effectively with over 65 percent of the ongoing projects having a satisfactory rating.
- All participating countries achieved targets for dissemination and application of new technologies.
- Targets for sale of seed and germplasm were met.
- Targets for registration of technologies in project countries were met.
Through ASARECAs leadership, the EAAPP countries have developed an exit strategy that is intended to guide future collaboration among the participating countries in the event that Phase 2 will not materialize. The strategy provides mechanisms for utilisation of the facilities at the RCoEs by stakeholders, researchers and agricultural extension specialists; modalities for continued collaboration and sharing of knowledge , technologies and innovations; collaboration and linkages between RCoEs and regional and sub-regional organisations such as ASARECA, West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD), Centre for coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARSESA) and Agricultural Technology Advisory Services (ATAAS); documentation of knowledge products generated during Phase 1.
Accordingly, each country is expected to develop a business plan incorporating these elements. In the event that Phase II does not materialise, the national agricultural research institutes in collaboration with the Ministries of Agriculture will endorse mechanisms for accessing and using facilities under the RCoEs, oversee the management of the facilities and ensure the sustainability of the centres. Besides, the exit strategy provides for a profile of all scientists participating in EAAPP to be made available to all stakeholders for continued collaboration.
Article by Ben Ilakut
ASARECA, Communication and Knowledge Hub