Strategy to improve EAC food security

EAST African Community (EAC) Secretary General Peter Mathuki has exuded confidence on the recently approved regional bio economy strategy, terming it a key factor in promoting food security and sustainable agriculture in the region.

According to Dr Mathuki, the strategy – the first of its kind in Africa and the second in the world after that of the European Union – will increase opportunities for the EAC Partner States to deepen their cooperation in developing a sustainable and resilient bio economy.

“Through the strategy, EAC Partner States will scale-up their bio-innovations, share scientific knowledge, and harmonise policies, standards, and regulations for bio-manufacturing and regional trade,” said Dr Mathuki, here recently.

The Secretary General was quick to point out that the East Africa region has a comparative advantage for bio-manufacturing and bio-based products, given its rich diversity in biological resources and a large proportion of arable land.

“At the moment, agriculture contributes more than 30 per cent of the region’s GDP, making it the backbone of the economy for the Partner States,” he revealed.

Such a strategy is aligned with expressed commitments to environmental sustainability, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and changing of unsustainable practices by countries in the region, he said.

The EAC Secretary General further noted that the strategy provides a compelling framework for putting in place agreed goals and interventions which countries in East Africa can use to achieve the continental aspiration of integrating African Union Agenda 2063 and the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development into inter-sectoral national development plans, and the regional aspiration contained in EAC Vision 2050 through which Partner States aspire to become middle-income countries by the year 2050.

Dr Mathuki further hinted that neighbouring countries of the EAC could benefit from the strategy given their similar aspirations and bio resource base.

“It is a desire of the EAC that other regional economic communities can use this strategy as an example or benchmark to develop their own regional bio economy strategies,” he added.

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