Kenya Assumes Leadership Of Key Agricultural Development Body, ASARECA

Kenya has assumed the chairmanship of the Council of Patron Ministers for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), with Agriculture and Livestock Development Cabinet Secretary Mithika Linturi taking the helm. The transition, which occurred during the third ASARECA Council of Patron Ministers meeting in Nairobi, marks Kenya’s leadership role in promoting agricultural transformation and economic development across the region.

Under Linturi’s leadership, ASARECA has allocated approximately Sh3.2 billion towards catalyzing agricultural transformation and improving livelihoods in member states. Initiatives include combating the spread of Banana Xanthomas Wilt in hotspots like Ugunja, Western Kenya, and coordinating the Eastern Africa Agricultural Productivity Project (EAAPP), where Kenya achieved Regional Centre of Excellence status for Dairy.

The ASARECA Council of Patron Ministers serves as the highest organ of the association, guiding regional and national agricultural research for development. Comprising line ministers from 15 member states, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, and others, the council focuses on fostering sustainable economic growth and inclusive development in the region.

During the third Council of Patron Ministers Meeting, participants will discuss strategies to support ASARECA’s agricultural transformation agenda and endorse priorities and strategies for the period 2024-2028. The council will also review the implementation of previous agreements, including sustainable financing and collaboration with international agricultural research institutions.

On the sidelines of the conference, CS Linturi engaged in bilateral discussions with counterparts from Uganda and Somalia. Discussions with Ugandan Minister of Agriculture Frank Tumwebaze centred on vaccine distribution to combat prevalent diseases, emphasizing equitable access and regional stability. Additionally, Linturi reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to ensuring the quality and safety of Miraa exports to Somalia, fostering trade relations and market expansion.

Since its establishment in 1994, ASARECA has mobilized significant resources to implement Agricultural Research for Development initiatives, working closely with National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) across member countries. The ongoing meeting, attended by ASARECA’s Board of Directors and ministry officials, underscores the organization’s commitment to advancing agricultural development and regional cooperation in Eastern and Central Africa.

As Kenya assumes leadership of ASARECA, the country reaffirms its commitment to driving agricultural transformation and economic growth in the region. With a focus on collaboration, innovation, and inclusive development, ASARECA continues to play a vital role in shaping the future of agriculture and livelihoods across Eastern and Central Africa.