ARUSHA is hosting the 11th meeting of the Sectoral Council on Agriculture and Food Security (SCAFS) which started yesterday and will continue till next Saturday at the East African Community headquarters here.
The SCAFS will review progress made in implementing Council decisions and consider other issues of regional importance within the agriculture and food security and entails sectoral Council meetings, hence senior officials gathering and sessions of permanent secretaries that will culminate in the ministerial session next Friday.
Since its last meeting in June 2017, several activities have since taken place in implementing various projects and programmes under the sector. The 11th SCAFS meeting will deliberate on the progress report on the Community's Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) process and the EAC regional project on Aflatoxin prevention and control.
Other topics include the status of implementation of EAC Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Protocol; Harmonisation of Farm Inputs;EAC Food and Nutrition Security Strategy and Action Plan; Challenges and Opportunities in Rice Value Chain; EAC-FAO Project on Promoting Youth Employment in the Agricultural Sector; Status of Livestock and Fisheries Development; and Resource Mobilisation and Partnerships.
Meanwhile, a high-level forum on the inaugural biennial report on the implementation of the June 2014 AU Heads of State Malabo Declaration on Accelerated Agricultural Growth and Transformation for Shared prosperity and Improved Livelihoods is scheduled to take place on june 16, 2018, at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha - at which the Best Youth agri-entrepreneurs within the EAC would be recognised and awarded.
The EAC secretariat and the FAO are working on a programme to promote youth employment in agriculture through a technical cooperation project dubbed, 'Promoting Youth Employment in the Agricultural Sector in East Africa.'
In May, 2018, the Secretariat --with support from FAO -- sent 18 youths from six partner states to the Songhai Centre in Benin for a month's apprenticeship intended to build their agribusiness knowledge and practical skills in various agro-enterprises.
The initiative has since demonstrated that the youths were likely to operate successful agribusinesses when equipped with the right knowledge and skills.