About ASARECA Council of Patron Ministers Summit

Venue: Speke, Resort, Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda

Date: 2nd to 4th May 2019

Theme: Repositioning ASARECA for Accelerated African Agricultural Transformation Sub theme: Enhancing Productivity, Resilience and Prosperity in Africa

The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) has developed a new Strategy and Results Framework (2019-28). The new strategy requires ASARECA to reposition itself in terms of its implementation approach as well as its governance and management structures in order to appropriately respond to the demands of its clients.

Inauguration of new Governance System

Tremendous progress has been made towards implementing key reforms needed to reposition the institution accordingly. These include the composition of a new Constitution and Governance Manual, the development of a new board structure and the hiring of key theme leaders.  The ASARECA Council of Patron Ministers Summit has ben convened to complete and formalize the reform process by performing a series of activities including: Review and endorse ASARECA governance organs and instruments following Board approval, approve the new ASARECA Constitution and inaugurate the new ASARECA Board.

High Level Policy Forum

Besides Governance activities, the Summit will be enriched through the High-Level Policy Forum on achieving agricultural resilience and sustainability in Africa.  The forum will showcase ASARECA’s role and capacity as a central institution for convening and coordinating regional agricultural research and policy discussions. This forum is co-organized with the International for Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT). CIMMYT has for the last eight years worked with seven national research organizations in Eastern and Southern Africa, ASARECA and other international organizations, with the support of ACIAR. The focus of the partnership has been on adaptive research and institutional innovations in Conservation Agriculture based Sustainable Intensification  (CASI) in smallholder farming systems.

Purpose of the high level forum

The forum will share evidence from SIMLESA’s eight year research on the impact of conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification technologies and practices on the region’s key development priorities. The priorities include food security and enhancing resilience to climate change. Based on the evidence, the forum will enable dialogue and commitments by the Minsters and other high level delegates  on the policy priorities, program design and investment choices needed to institutionalize CASI and take it to more farmers and cropping systems through the region. The thrust of this forum will be to propose critical paradigm shifts in smallholder agronomy, agricultural value chains and rural institutions and how they can be achieved for climate smart agriculture in Africa.

Meeting Objectives

  1. Institute ASARECA’s new governance organs and instruments
  2. Share ASARECA’s AR4D strategy with stakeholders
  3. Share the long term research results of the SIMLESA project and the opportunities for policy action
  4. Seek Ministerial level commitment to CASI
  5. Prepare the strategy for up-scaling CASI through the national agricultural investment plans
  6. Formalize in a communiqué the key regional commitments to institute paradigm shifts in smallholder agronomy, agricultural value chains and rural institutions for climate smart agriculture in the region.

Expected Outputs

  1. The new ASARECA Board of Directors inaugurated by ASARECA’s Patron Ministers and inducted
  2. Decisions and policy actions for institutionalization of conservation agriculture based sustainable intensification endorsed by the Ministers responsible for agriculture in the region.
  3. Agreement on the key principles of the strategy for up-scaling of CASI in the region developed
  4. Proceedings of the High Level Policy Forum

The Participants

Participants will include: the Ministers responsible for agriculture from ASARECA member countries and the two additional SIMLESA countries; Malawi and Mozambique, the Heads of RECs, the current Board of ASARECA, the new Board of ASARECA which is to be nominated, members of ASARECA’s high level advisory panel on governance reforms, development partners, the national CAADP focal points, Heads of SROs and of EAFF, ESAFF, EAGC, Deans of Agriculture.


The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) is a non-profit Intergovernmental organization of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of twelve countries – Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. ASARECA was established in 1994 to contribute to increased productivity, commercialization and competitiveness of the agricultural sector through strengthening, catalyzing and coordinating agricultural research for development in the eastern and central Africa sub region.


CIMMYT – The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center – is the global leader in publicly-funded maize and wheat research and related farming systems. Headquartered near Mexico City, CIMMYT works with hundreds of partners throughout the developing world to sustainably increase the productivity of maize and wheat cropping systems, thus improving global food security and reducing poverty. CIMMYT is a member of the CGIAR System and leads the CGIAR Research Programs on Maize and Wheat, and the Excellence in Breeding Platform. The Center receives support from national governments, foundations, development banks and other public and private agencies.


Since 2010, the Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Cropping Systems for Food Security in Eastern and Southern Africa (SIMLESA) has been implemented in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The project seeks to increase food security, productivity, income levels and resilience to climate change while simultaneously protecting the natural resource base through integrating sustainable intensification technologies and practices in African smallholder farming systems.

SIMLESA is financed by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and led by CIMMYT in collaboration with numerous partners, including the national agricultural research institutes of participating countries, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI); the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) of the University of Queensland, Australia, the Agricultural Research Corporation, South Africa, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) in addition to various national level actors. For further information on SIMLESA, please visit https://simlesa.cimmyt.org/  


The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is Australia’s specialist international agricultural research for development agency. ACIAR seeks to achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through sustainable partnerships and building scientific and policy capability within partner countries.