Deputy Secretary General in charge of productive and social sectors, Christophe Bazivamo made the call over the weekend in Arusha when speaking at the just-concluded 12th meeting of the Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security (SCAFS).
The meeting reviewed progress made in implementing the previous decisions and directives of the Council and Sectoral Council and also considered other issues of regional importance in the area of Agriculture and Food Security.
The meeting was attended by Rashid Ali Juma, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries of Zanzibar chaired the meeting at the request of Hon. Vincent Bamulangaki Ssempijja, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries of Uganda who was not able to attend the meeting in person owing to a disruption in his flight schedule. The Rapporteur was Jean Claude Musabyimana representing the Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources of the Republic of Rwanda.
Also in attendance were Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources, Dr Gerardine Mukeshimana; Burundi’s Minister in the Ministry to the Office of the President Responsible for East African Community Affairs, Isabelle Ndahayo; Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Irrigation, Mwangi Kiunjuri; South Sudan’s Minister in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Onyoti Adigo Nyikwec; and Tanzania’s Minister of Livestock and Fisheries, Luhaga Joelson Mpina.
Bazivamo noted that agriculture was an important sector in the Community and that many issues on the agenda of the meeting such as food security, SPS, pests and diseases, farm inputs, agricultural productivity, irrigation, and sustainable land management, were all provided for in the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.
Bazivamo stressed promotion of fertilizers and irrigation in order to increase agricultural production and urged Partner States to pay special attention to areas of weak performance in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)/Malabo Biennial Review report including the need to increase financial allocation to the agricultural sector and strengthen data collection and collation mechanisms.
Addressing the Ministerial session, Zanzibar’s minister, Rashid Ali Juma commended Ministers and Cabinet Secretaries from the Partner States for monitoring and keeping under constant review the implementation of the previous decisions and directives of the Council and Sectoral Council in regard to Agriculture and Food Security in the region.
Rashid Ali Juma reiterated that the overall objectives of co-operation in the agricultural sector were the achievement of food security and rational agricultural production within the Community.