The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) that just concludes its 2nd biannual General Assembly in Bujumbura, Burundi from 9th – 13th December 2013 have chosen Eritrea to host the next General Assembly.
The theme of the 2nd General Assembly and Scientific Conference: “Transforming Agriculture for Economic Growth in Eastern and Central Africa”, are chosen to align to the shared vision of CAADP and the African Unions’ New Partnership for African Development (AU/NEPAD) to attain the Millennium Development Goals by facilitating agriculture to grow at an annual rate of 6% by 2015.
ASARECA is an intergovernmental not-for-profit association established in 1994 by 10 member countries comprising Eritrea, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. South Sudan joined the association in 2011 to become the 11th member state.
Besides the participation of the Ministers of the member countries, Board members and the Secretariat, about 500 agricultural scientists mainly from Research Centers, Universities and the Business Community present research outcomes in the General Assembly.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Arefaine Berhe led the Eritrean delegation that includes Mr. Semere Amlesom, Dean of the Hamelmalo Agricultural College and a number of researchers from the Halhale Agricultural Research Center who presented an outstanding scientific research paper on Sorghum.
The 11 ASARECA member countries cover an area of 8.5 million square Kms with a total population of about 300 million people, most of whom are rural dwellers pursuing agriculture-based livelihoods. Roughly one-third (about 300 million hectars) of Eastern and Central Africa’s (ECA) total land area is devoted to agriculture.
Agriculture contributes significantly to national economies of all the countries in the sub-region and accounts for 43% of the regional GDP.
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