M a r k e t N e w s

East Africa: EALA Pushes Regional Governments to Allocate More Resources Into Agriculture

Posted on : Monday, 17th October 2016

 The East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) has tasked regional member countries to allocate more resources into the agricultural sector.

The legislators sitting in Zanzibar further said that member states should also ensure that the legal and regulatory frameworks that are responsive to the needs of the smallholder farmers, youth and women are catered for.
Uganda's Representative Mr Mike Sebalu said the relations between the Assembly and farmers' organisations were very cordial and that the voice of the farmers continued to be championed by EALA.
"It is time for agriculture to be prioritized and that a value system that inculcates agriculture should be embraced," Sebalu said.
Hon Shyrose Bhanji (Tanzania Representative) in her remarks said that agriculture if well boosted by sufficient budgets, would ensure the youth, women and other stakeholders are catered for through employment opportunities.
"At the same time if land is well allocated, and utilised then it would go a long way in eradicating poverty. To ensure this, finances in terms of credit is to be output," the legislator said.
The legislator challenged the small holder farmers to take advantage of the Customs Union Protocol that offers with it free taxes on local products.
Ms Mumbi Ngaru (Kenya Representative) informed the House to step up efforts to reach out to stakeholders in the agricultural sector especially during its (EALA) Sensitisation activities while Ms Nancy Abisai said it was necessary to curb corruption if resources were to be made available.
The increase in budgetary allocations is in line with the Malabo Declaration and the Assembly says the target which is pegged at least 10 per cent, needs to be met annually or progressively.
Agricultural councils
The legislators are similarly urging the EAC Secretariat to institutionalise a Regional Agriculture Advisory Council to advice on the harmonization of the regional agriculture policy frameworks and programmes.
Such a Council, EALA said, could comprise of EAC/EALA Secretariat and representatives from Partner States, academia, regional Farmer Organisations and Civil Society as well as consumers.
At the same time, Partner States need to increase the quality of investments by addressing national priorities connected with farmers while addressing existing challenges.
Consequently, increase in the absorption rate in the agriculture sector with a correlation between budget allocation, agriculture returns and sectoral growth targets is absolutely necessary.

Source : allafrica.com
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