Arusha — The EAC Partner States' Ministries responsible for Animal Resources and National Statistics have been called upon to strengthen their collaboration in order to enhance animal resources data management within the region.
The call was made during the meeting of Experts on Animal Data and Animal Resources Information System (ARIS 2) that concluded over the week end in Kampala, Uganda. Experts from the EAC Partner States line Ministries responsible for Animal Health and Production, Fisheries Development, Trade and EAC Affairs attended the meeting.
The five-day meeting recommended to the EAC Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security to urge all the five Partner States to immediately initiate the use of ARIS 2. A Technical Working Group on animal resources data should also be established at National and Regional levels and the draft Terms of Reference adopted.
The meeting urged the Fisheries sector to review and update its ARIS 2 modules; and urged the Livestock Data Innovation Project in Africa to expand its coverage to all the remaining EAC Partner States of Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda to support improvement of livestock data collection in its 2nd phase of the Project.
At the meeting, the Deputy Secretary General of the East African Community in charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Jesca Eriyo emphasized the importance of data in investment decisions and noted that investing in data collection, collation and analysis of the Livestock sector was a good idea that would improve management and planning of the sector. She noted that Animals (livestock and fisheries) play a critical role in contributing to food security, income generation amongst other key economic and cultural roles. Currently, the demand for livestock and livestock products has increased and it is projected that it will increase in future with increasing population and improved income.
Hon Eriyo reiterated that one of the challenges facing the region is the inadequate Animal Resources (Livestock and Fisheries) statistical data on which to base marketing, investment, or policy decisions, to assess the efficacy of the current commitments or policies in the EAC.
In this context, the Deputy Secretary General said there was inadequate data to demonstrate quantitatively the role of animal resources in the region's economies, and to use such data to create broad awareness among policy-makers and investors.
The Chairperson of the meeting, Kenya's Senior Assistant Director of Agriculture Mrs. Irene Musebe observed that data is an important tool in management of resources that can be used in any sector and emphasized the need of data collection, collation and analysis to inform policy formulation and implementation. The representative of the African Union Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources (AU-IBAR), Dr. Ibrahim Gashash Ahmed observed that data is of critical Importance in development planning and making of policy decisions, and noted that it is in tandem with the continental CAADP framework.
Data will enable the Animal Resources sector demonstrate its contribution to the National GDP and because of inadequate data in the Animal Resources in Africa it is not easy to demonstrate the contribution of the sector to the National GDP, in many cases such contributions are underestimated.
The AU official said ARIS-2 was a versatile information management platform that will be availed to all Regional Economic Communities and AU member countries for Animal data collection, collation, analysis and dissemination. He observed that AU-IBAR had trained a sizeable number of Experts in EAC.
Additional Notes to Editors:
To improve animal production and productivity, a proper regional livestock development policy is paramount. The policy should give overall guidance for improved production and productivity and marketing of Animal Resources. This, therefore, calls for basic animal (Livestock and Fisheries) data and information to guide decision making and planning.
However, there is inadequate Animal Resources (Livestock and Fisheries) statistical data on which to base marketing, investment, or policy decisions, or with which to assess the efficacy of current commitments or policies in the EAC region. Consequently, there is inadequate data to demonstrate quantitatively the role of animal resources in African economies and in East Africa, and to use such data to create broad awareness among policy-makers and investors.
Investing in Animal Resources data collection leads to evidence-based policy and decision-making and opportunities for sector investment. Investments in animal resources data collection, storage, processing, analysis, and dissemination could improve investments and livelihoods for the nearly one third of rural households who are involved in Livestock and or Fisheries and aquaculture production.
Data is necessary for planning in all sectors including animal resources development. The value of evidence based and scientific information in every aspect of development cannot be overemphasized.
Policies determine the direction and priority areas for investment as well as governance processes. They provide a framework upon which key decisions are made, strategies are developed and resources are allocated. To develop appropriate and suitable policy decisions there is need to have quality data in order to make evidenced based policy decisions.
EAC Data Capturing Instruments Initiatives
EAC has developed data capturing frameworks for animal health based on the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) formats. These include;
a) Immediate Notification Report Format,
b) Animal Health Status Report Format ;
c) Animal Health Indicators Report Format; and
d) Livestock Production.
Owora Richard Othieno,
Head of Department;
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs;
+255 784 835021;
Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Department
EAC Secretariat Arusha, Tanzania