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Harmonizing systems to avoid duplication on projects

Small scale farmers from Kenya are among those who will benefit from donor and advanced action research support in the Eastern and Central African region to boost food production,

The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) is currently working on harmonizing priorities of the national systems in the 15 member governments with those of the sub-regional and global partners to avoid duplication of efforts and harness economies of scale.

Despite the Global actors playing a critical role in supporting the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in financing agricultural research as well as in providing needed technical support and facilities for research, in the recent years, there has been a proliferation of uncoordinated activities in the NARS undertaking activities that merely duplicate initiatives.

Speaking during a regional planning meeting to discuss implementation of the Action Plan to strengthen partnership between Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Africa Agricultural Research, Innovation and Education Institutions (AARIEIs), Agriculture and livestock Cabinet secretary Mithika Linturi said Governments in the ASARECA region are interested in coordinated activities of various global actors across board in order to boost food yield.

            “The NARS have noted increasing misalignment of CGIAR resources with national priorities and have called for their activities to be rationalized through regional coordination”, he said in a speech read on his behalf by the ministries Senior Technical advisor Dr. Dennis Onkundi ,

Stakeholders from The African Institutions during the One CGIAR meeting that was discussing partnership modalities

The CS explained that a recent ASARECA Council of Patron Ministers meeting discussed gaps in derailing sustainable financing of Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) in the region through ASARECA as well as in providing needed technical support and facilities for research.

“Effectively, this implies that the envisioned One CGIAR is expected to engage with the countries through ASARECA and this decision is aimed at making ASARECA responsible and accountable to all the national Governments of the Member States., especially by being the sub-region’s technology clearing house,” he added.

Linturi who  is also the chairman of the ASARECA Council of Patron Ministers (CPM)  urged  stakeholders in the meeting to deliberate openly while ensuring fairness, logic, equity and subsidiarity to arrive at conclusions that will enable all to work for the interest of the NARS with the ultimate target being where the farmer reside.

ASARECA Executive Director Dr. Enock Warinda said that centralizing the operations of the organizations is being prompted by the changing dynamics in the global agriculture sector and the need to reduce wastage of resources.

“ASARECA council of ministers recently resolved the need to ensure all organizations working in the agriculture sector in the region are coordinated from one point. Therefore, we have reached out to continental and global agricultural bodies to ensure we develop a common action plan aimed at matching all the activities in order to adequately serve the smallholder farmer,” said Dr. Warinda.

Equally, he confirmed that his organization is reaching out to its sister organizations in Africa so that they can replicate the same formula in their jurisdictions.

The approach by the agricultural players further focuses to support implementation of the November 2022 Abidjan II Communique that advocates urgent transformation of Africa’s food, land, and water systems.

The agricultural innovation network is being reformed to ONE CGIAR in order to be in tandem with the current dynamics in Africa’s farmers and Agri-food systems.

During the meeting, Dr. Warinda noted that member countries seek to make sure that they consolidate their actions to address the common agenda of agricultural research in the region following recent concerns expressed by the world’s largest global agricultural innovation network -Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

The 2 day meeting brought stakeholders from  regional agricultural research organizations namely  –ASARECA, Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA) and  West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) who agreed to pursue coherent activities in order to help in food production.

Continental bodies that graced the Nairobi forum include the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) and Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM).

By  Wangari Ndirangu

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