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EAFF proposes strategy for EAC Livestock Policy
The Eastern Africa Farmers' Federation (EAFF) is a regional farmers' organization whose membership consists of national farmer federations, national co-operative organizations and national commodity associations in ten (10) countries in Eastern Africa - Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. The effective engagement of farmer organizations in policy processes at all levels is one of the pillars of the new EAFF strategic plan (2012-2020). EAFF has a Memorandum of Understanding and Observer Status with the East African Community (EAC). Within the framework of these two institutional instruments, EAFF is mandated to ensure that farmers in the region are fully and effectively engaging in all processes related to agriculture and food security, coordinated by the EAC.
The EAC secretariat has developed a Livestock Policy to foster a focused and coherent set of strategic policy decisions and actions. The intention is to propel and transform the EAC Partner States' respective Livestock industries beyond the outcomes attained with the past and current livestock subsector policy instruments. The goal of EAC Livestock Policy is to attain an annual growth rate of at least 5.0% with significant livestock contribution to the agricultural GDP surpassing 50% and to contribute to the reduction of poverty, hunger, unemployment and degradation of natural resources.
EAFF convened a regional meeting from Monday 10th to Tuesday 11th August 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya to go through the Policy and propose a strategy for its implementation. The meeting was financially supported under EAFF's project on Food Governance and financed by the European Union. Some of the proposed strategic areas under the four pillars of the policy, include:
Pillar 1: Securing access to basic production inputs and security to stimulate productive use of livestock assets: The proposed strategic areas include the management of water resources for livestock, improvements in livestock feeds, strengthening livestock extension systems, livestock genetic improvement and conservation and the identification and promotion of appropriate innovative technologies aimed at mechanizing and transforming livestock production processes (feeding and milking).
Pillar 2: Building resilience to risks and shocks to secure livestock assets: The proposed strategic areas include use of Livestock early warning systems and Facilitating establishment of a regional disease surveillance and control system
Pillar 3: Enhancing growth in livestock productivity and competitiveness for livelihood benefits: This includes livestock record and information management, improving veterinary services across the region, strengthening controls of trans-boundary zoonotic diseases, harmonizing the regulations and response procedures related to zoonotic disease control measures, and strengthening systems related to the collection, synthesis and sharing of livestock-related information.
Pillar 4: Sustaining growth in livestock productivity and competitiveness adaptable to dynamic in the livestock chains: Some of the proposed strategic areas include exploring and exploiting value addition options for livestock and livestock products, strengthening linkage of livestock farmers to viable markets, strengthening organizational capacity of agro-pastoralists and pastoralists to enhance their bargaining power in input/output markets, supporting development and harmonization of livestock standards and codes in the EAC, harmonizing regulations to address counterfeit livestock products, and encouraging the establishment of national agricultural banks/national agriculture financial institutions where they do not exist.
The meeting was officially opened by Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, the Chair of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) parliamentary committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources. EALA is the parliament of the East African Community. The meeting was also attended by members of the EAFF Board of Directors, led by Philip Kiriro, the President, representatives from the State Department of Livestock in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Livestock Producers Association (KLPA). KLPA is one of the member organizations of EAFF, from Kenya. There was also a sizable representation from the East African Community secretariat led by Hon. Jesca Eriya, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of Productive and Social Sectors. Hon. Eriyo officially closed the meeting.