ASARECA Newsletter Vol.11

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Preparing the Continent for post COVID-19 Priorities
Dear AR4D colleagues,

It is two months since ASARECA adopted the “work at home” mode. We have so far done quite well in implementing our Annual Work Plan through virtual meetings facilitated via Cisco WebEx, Skpye, emails, and phone calls to plan and track performance. We have also interacted with various partners through similar platforms as well as kept operations such as procurement, approvals, and e-payments ongoing.

When the lock-down had just started, we were preparing to launch the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme EX Pillar 4 Project (CAADP-XP4) in May. The CAADP-XP4 Project is a flagship initiative funded by the European Union (EU) and managed by the International Fund for Agricultural development (IFAD). The Project aims at enabling agricultural research, innovation and extension, to contribute effectively to food and nutrition security, economic development and climate mitigation in Africa. Although the launch was postponed, we have used this period to complete the documentation needed for the launch. We will inform you of the new launch dates once operations in partner institutions normalize.
Under the auspices of the African Union and the FAO, the African Agriculture Ministers on April 16, 2020 held a virtual meeting to chat out a common front for dealing with the consequences of COVID-19. The Ministers issued a Declaration committing Governments to prioritize the food and agriculture system as an essential service that must continue to operate during periods of lockdown. The Declaration is published here and we would like to invite you to familiarize with it.

On a final note, the locusts continue to wreak havoc in parts of Eastern and Central Africa. Governments have adopted various measures to deal with the locusts. We invite you to learn lessons from what our colleagues are doing in different parts of the Continent.
We sincerely thank you for your continued support.
Prof. Jean Jacques Mbonigaba Muhinda
Executive Secretary—ASARECA



Declaration of the African Ministers of Agriculture Meeting on Food and Nutrition during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Ministers for Agriculture in African have issued a Joint Communique urging governments to prioritize the food and agriculture system as an essential service that must continue to operate during periods of lockdown. Convened virtually on April 16, 2020 under the auspices of the Africa Union Commission Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Ministers expressed deep concern that the COVID-19 pandemic poses significant challenges to the already strained health, food and nutrition security and broad socio-economic conditions in Africa. Read on


COVID-19 response must target African agriculture and the rural poor: Africa looks like it could be the worst hit from the economic fallout of the crisis: 80 million Africans could be pushed into extreme poverty if action is not taken. Disruptions in food systems raise the prospect of more Africans falling into hunger. Rural people, many of whom work on small-scale farms, are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the crisis. These are perspectives on post-COVID-19 Africa shared by H.E Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and H.E Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, former Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Read on


The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa has published a book titled: COVID-19 in Africa: Protecting Lives and Economies. This publication warns that the COVID-19 pandemic could push 27 million people into extreme poverty. Already, the price of oil, which accounts for 40 per cent of Africa’s exports, has halved, and major African exports such as textiles and fresh-cut flowers have crashed. Tourism – which accounts for up to 38 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) of some African countries – has effectively halted, as has the airline industry that supports it. Read on


How COVID-19 has accelerated adoption of ICTs in AR4Dcorporates are seeking the best tools and solutions for working remotely to manage virtual teams, time, planning and tracking implementation progress. Some of technologies including virtual private networks (VPNs), voice over internet protocols (VoIPs), virtual meetings, cloud technology, work collaboration tools, video calls conferencing, and facial recognition innovations are making things work in real contexts. Read on

Somalia adopts aerial spraying to control devastating locusts: The Government of Somalia has joined her East African neighbours in using aerial spraying to fight the locust invasion that has been ravaging the region for the past eight months. Before, the government had been conducting hand spraying and using machines mounted on vehicles, but this did not post adequate results. The government will be using three helicopters operated by Canadian experts and will be air-spraying bio-organic pesticides over the central Somali region of Galmudug, Puntland in the northeast, and Somali land. Read on 

AP. photo
Sustained efforts to contain East Africa’s worst invasion of desert locusts in decades are forging ahead, despite limits on the flow of personnel and equipment stemming from the global COVID-19 pandemic, the UN food agency said recently. The infestation remains alarming, particularly in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia where it poses an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods for millions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Read on

Lessons on how to effectively tackle a locust invasion: Africa’s food production and grazing land are under threat from a huge desert locust invasion. The insects are currently devastating across section of countries that are at the same time grappling with taming the COVID-19 pandemic. The locusts have the ability to devour crops from entire farm fields in a single morning. Studies show that large swarms form because of factors including changes to the environment, population structure and behaviour. Read on 
Consultancy Opportunities

ASARECA has advertised consultancy services for translation of knowledge and corporate products from English to French. Download the bidding document and ToRs here (this is a regional consultancy)

ASARECA has advertised consultancy services for Design and layout of knowledge and corporate products from English to French. Download the bidding document and ToRs here (this is a local consultancy)

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Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)
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Tel: +256 414 320 556, +256 414 321 885
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Disclaimer. Reasonable care  has been taken to ensure that the information provided in ASARECA Newsletter is accurate. However, ASARECA does not vouch for the accuracy of information provided on websites to which the Newsletter links. Opinions shared on external sites and ASARECA Newsletter as well as articles, editorials, news, comments and reviews, reflect the individual views of the authors and should not be construed to be those of ASARECA or its partners.