Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF) and officials of the East African Community (EAC) secretariat, yesterday held discussions on regional issues impacting farmers and the agricultural sector in general.
The delegation headed by Phillip M. Kariro, president of EAFF in the region, briefed the EAC officials on the latest developments in the federation that, include among others, its participation in the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) process and the engagement with the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)’s Committee on Agriculture, Tourism, and Natural Resources.
The EAC Deputy Secretary General in charge Productive and Social Sectors, Jean Claude Nsengiyumva, commended the work of the federation, saying the overall objectives of cooperation in the agricultural sector are to achieve food security and rational agricultural production within the bloc.
“EAFF being both a private sector and civil society organisation has a role to play in the regional integration process. The Partner States agreed to provide an enabling environment for the private sector and the civil society to take full advantage of the community,” he said.
“Partner States were providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to participate actively in improving the policies and activities of the institutions of the community that affect them so as to increase their confidence in policy reforms and raise the productivity and lower the costs of the entrepreneurs.”
Meanwhile, EAFF officials presented to the EAC Secretariat a proposal on the need to develop a regional cooperative policy.
The Federation believes that cooperative societies have the potential to spur economic development by increasing farmers’ incomes and promoting food security.
Nsengiyumva assured the group that their requests will be considered by relevant authorities in the community.
The Federation also requested the involvement of national farmers’ organisations in the EAC consultation processes at the national level on agriculture, food security and other related sectors so as to represent the interests of farmers in their respective countries.
The EAFF officials commended the EAC on taking the bold step of developing a food security action plan to address the problem of food insecurity in the region.