The Partner States of the East African Community (EAC) have signed the EAC Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) which recognizes agriculture as the region’s engine of social and economic growth and integration process.
Regional intergovernmental organisation EAC comprises five Partner States Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda and is headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania.
The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is an African Union (AU), Africa-owned and Africa-led initiative designed to boost agricultural productivity in Africa that was endorsed at the AU Heads of State Summit as a New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) programme in July 2003.
The CAADP’s overall goal is to use agriculture to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty in Africa. Through its agenda, African governments have agreed to increase public investment in agriculture to 10 per cent of annual national budgets and to raise and maintain agricultural productivity and growth by at least six percent every year.
With the vision of “A Competitive and Prosperous Agriculture Sector in East Africa”, the EAC CAADP outlines the regional development priorities and defines the required actions, commitments and partnerships to achieve agricultural transformation in line with the CAADP goals and targets.
Its priorities focus on considerations for accelerating agricultural growth and transformation that targets: increased agriculture production and productivity; increased intra-African regional trade and better functioning of national and regional markets; expanded local agro-industry and value chain development inclusive of women and youth; increased resilience of livelihoods; improved management of risks in agricultural sector; and improved management of natural resources for sustainable agriculture.
These priorities will be directed to the EAC Compact highlighted areas of: sustainable natural resource use and management; rural infrastructure, ICT and trade-related capacities for improved market access; food supply and reducing hunger; agricultural research, technology dissemination and adoption; enhancing resilience of livelihoods and production systems and Management of Risks; institutional and financial Strengthening; and cross-cutting issues.
EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Christophe Bazivamo said, “The Compact is designed to facilitate coordination of regional and cross-cutting programmes that are best handled regionally and those that compliment agricultural programmes and projects at the national level in the Partner States.”
The EAC CAADP was also signed by the EAC Secretariat, the Inter- University Council for East Africa (IUCEA), the East Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF), the East African Business Council (EABC), the East Africa Civil Society Organizations’ Forum (EACSOF), the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).