4 -8 November 2013. Kampala Uganda. Kilimo Trust, EAC secretariat, CTA and ASARECA have organized an International symposium and Exhibition on agriculture in the EAC. The theme of the symposium was Agricultural development in the EAC: lessons from the past 50 years and prospects for the future.
The Symposium was organized into the three sessions:
- Pre-Symposium Youth in Agriculture (YiA) workshop (4th November, 2013) – will be attended by those between 18 and 35 years and are in agriculture to present cases of their experience. The YiA workshop will feed recommendations into the main symposium. Those youth who pass the selection criteria will be sponsored to the workshop.
- Technical Symposium (5th to 7th November, 2013) – to discuss Commissioned Papers and Case Studies and draw evidence-based recommendations along the twelve sub-themes. This session will be open to all interested parties and attendance will be by payment.
- High Level Round Table Meeting of Policy and Decision Makers from the Public and Private Sectors (8thNovember, 2013) – to scrutinize recommendations of the symposium and formulate necessary actions for adoption. Attendance to this session will be strictly by invitation.
Recommendations and action points from the High Level Roundtable discussion will be submitted to the EAC Council of Ministers through the EAC Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security for adoption.
Keynote 1: Revitalizing Farmers of the Future: Mercy Karanja – BMGF ; Ephraim Nkonya – IFPRI
Keynote 2: Youth Employment: Harnessing Opportunities in African Agriculture : Martin Bwalya NPCA-CAADP-NEPAD
- Geoffrey Mrema and Jean Ndikumana: Value addition for incomes and employment through post-harvest management and agro-processing across all sub-sectors
- Tony Nsanganira and Saeed Bancie: Agricultural Business and Enterprises Development Services over the Last 50 Years and Vision for the Future
- “During the 50 years since independence, the EAC countries moved from a food surplus to a food deficit region,” Shellemiah Keya (University of Nairobi, Kenya) and Patrick Rubaihayo (Makerere University, Uganda) stated in their paper. The professors encouraged the adoption of new technologies, better infrastructure, and a stronger focus on efficient water use to improve productivity.
- “The exhibit this year was a success, bringing all these people together,” an ASARECA representative told at the exhibition. ASARECA, one of the event organizers, also takes a multipronged approach to agricultural development. An African-led organization that brings together experts from a variety of fields, ASARECA funds research and runs programs on high-value crops, livestock and fisheries, resource management and biodiversity.
- “The symposium is about discussing the issues involved with moving farmers from normal agriculture productivity to market, to enterprises for profit,” explained a Uganda Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) exhibitor.