The East African countries must commit to develop the agro-processing sub-sector but also take care of the climate change issues therein, experts have said
The East African countries must commit to develop the agro-processing sub-sector but also take care of the climate change issues therein, experts have said.
Climate change, food security and trade experts were gathered in Kampala recently to review recent policy research on how agro-processing can become more climate sensitive, trade driven and food security enhancing in the region.
“The region’s success in realising this potential will partly depend on its ability to factor in the ever-increasing challenges posed by climate change, and work in synergy with its own trade agenda,” said a statement released after the meeting.
The regional meeting, jointly organised by CUTS Geneva and SEATINI, also identified necessary policy actions to be pursued over the next three years under the regional project “Promoting Agriculture, Climate and Trade Linkages in the East African Community – Phase 2” (PACT EAC2).
The project seeks to build capacities of East Africans to be climate-aware, trade-driven and food security-enhancing agro-processing in their region.
“We all agree that climate change is real, and that agro-processing is the way forward. These issues are intertwined,” said Fred Mukasa Mbidde, the chairman of East African Legislative Assembly’s Committee on communication, trade and investment.
Dr Oswald Mashindano, a principal research associate with the Economic and Social Research Foundation Tanzania, said that whereas agro-processing development has been earmarked as a key regional priority, multi-pronged challenges continue to affect the East African region.
Mashindano, also a rural development academic at the University of Dar es Salaam said that avenues for better policy coherence across the climate, food security and trade challenges ought to be identified through a research approach.
Private Sector Foundation Uganda estimates that almost 65 per cent of agricultural production is lost post-harvest.