In a move to address the glaring food insecurity several African countries are facing, Uganda and 13 other continental states have committed to increase funding for agricultural research in their respective countries.
In a communique, the ministers of agriculture from the 14 African countries, including Uganda, pledged on behalf of their respective nations to dedicate at least one percent (1%) of their total national resource envelop to agricultural research in line with the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa’s (FARA) Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa (S3A) agenda.
Despite the capabilities and availability of human resource in this area, agricultural research in African countries has for decades been relegated to the periphery.
And for that, the ministers of agriculture from the 14 countries in the continent, mostly drawn from Eastern, Central and Southern African, now want the casual manner in which agricultural research is treated in the continent to stop forthwith.
Importantly perhaps, they committed to mainstreaming Conservation agriculture, institutionalisation efforts that support scaling and networking, integration into agricultural research and extension systems and fostering value chains development.
Promoting collective institutions to enable farmer integration into markets, supporting the development of smallholder machinery value chains through, local-level training for entrepreneurs and supporting market innovations that enable low-cost farmer learning and experimentation was conspicuous in the communique.
But before that the executive director of ASERECA, Prof Jean Jacques Mbonigaba Muhinda, said the role of research in agriculture has never been that crucial as it is today. He said the agricultural sector is evolving and without research it will be difficult to keep pace with the changes, most of which have far reaching effects on the livelihood.
And the head of Uganda’s delegation in the ASERECA Council of Patron Ministers Summit, the State Minister for Agriculture, Mr Christopher Kibanzanga, was of the view that African countries, including his own, Uganda, should invest where it reaps most and that is in agriculture.
- The Republic of Burundi: Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Livestock
- Republic of the Congo: Minister of Scientific Research and Technological Innovations
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo: Minister of Scientific Research
- The State of Eritrea: Minister of Agriculture
- The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia: Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources
- The Republic of Kenya: Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation
- The Republic of Madagascar: Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries
- The Republic of Malawi: Minister of Agriculture, Water and Irrigation Development
- Republic of Mozambique: Minister of Agriculture
- The Republic of Rwanda: Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources
- The Republic of South Sudan: Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
- The Republic of The Sudan: Minister of Science and Technology
- The United Republic of Tanzania: Minister of Agriculture
- The Republic Of Uganda: Minister Of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries
- For The African Union: Commissioner, Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission
- Observer: Dr. Martin Kropf, Director General, Cimmyt