Kenya is set to host a gathering of 15 Agriculture Ministers from African nations, convened by the regional inter-governmental organisation, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA).

The Council of Patron Ministers (CPM), which is the highest organ of ASARECA responsible for guiding the association on regional and national strategic matters in agricultural research for development, will be in session starting February 15.

Comprising Line Ministers overseeing agricultural research in the 15 ASARECA Member States, the Council of Patron Ministers will convene under the Chairmanship of Kenya, in adherence to the ASARECA Constitution, which dictates a rotational hosting basis among the Member States during the Ministers’ meeting.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary, Mithika Linturi, expressed anticipation for discussions that are poised to address crucial issues fostering the growth of the region’s agriculture sector.

“Kenya is privileged to host this high-level event as it enhances the visibility of our country, facilitating the exchange of knowledge among senior political, policy, and research leaders, especially on priorities that bind us together as a continent,” said Mr Linturi.

Mr Linturi highlighted the significance of hosting such a high-profile event yesterday at Kilimo House when he met ASARECA’s board members.

The last Council of Patron Ministers meeting was convened on May 18, 2023, in Uganda, hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, during its tenure as the Chair of the Council.

The theme for this year’s meeting is “Together Transforming Agriculture for Improved Livelihoods, Sustained Economic Growth, and Inclusive Development in Eastern and Central Africa.”

ASARECA board members when they paid CS Linturi a courtesy call. Image: courtesy.
ASARECA board members when they paid a courtesy call to CS Linturi. Image: courtesy.

ASARECA, among other things, is tasked with strengthening strategic partnerships with private sector networks to enhance trade and commercialisation of agricultural technologies and innovations, also focuses on coordinating actions to promote the adoption of agroecological approaches for sustainable food and seed systems.

Enock Warinda, ASARECA’s executive director, highlighted the meeting’s engagement with the Agriculture and Rural Development Partner Group and Donors to reinforce coordination and financing of agricultural development in Eastern and Central Africa.

Dr Warinda also outlined the convention’s agenda, which includes endorsing the establishment and financing of Regional Priority Programmes and Regional Centres of Excellence managed by Member States and coordinated by ASARECA.

ASARECA’s member states include Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.