Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) Executive Director, Enock Warinda has challenged agricultural scientists to work in synergies to improve farmers’ welfare in the region.
Dr Warinda , speaking during a four-day training and benchmarking exercise on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) for ASARECA scientists and researchers here on Monday, said agricultural experts have to work in unison in coming up with the right innovation of tackling climate change.
He equally called on the scientists to promote the alliance among different stakeholders promoting the alliance among different stakeholders to improve farmers’ welfare in the region.
“Let’s have a footprint in each of the alliance’s member countries, therefore we must bring in policymakers, private sector, and donors to achieve the feat,” explained Dr Warinda.
The ASARECA Executive Director equally called for the establishment of a database that will enable the alliance to comprehend the number of farmers they were dealing with.
He further insisted that research played a crucial role in agriculture not just because society needs food, but food with high nutrients.
According to Dr Warinda, the overall objective of the training and benchmarking exercise was to equip ASARECA scientists with Climate-Smart Agriculture(CSA) knowledge so that they can effectively contribute to the sustainable development of agriculture in their respective countries.
“This is very useful training to all of you as it targets national agricultural research institutions and farmer group leaders,” he added.
CSA is an integrated approach to managing landscapes—cropland, livestock, forests, and fisheries--that addresses the interlinked challenges of food security and climate change.
For his part, Chairperson of the ASARECA Board of Directors, Geoffrey Mkamilo said the training came at an opportune time when some plant diseases were currently crossing borders.
Dr Mkamilo who is also the Director-General of the Tanzania Agricultural Research Institute (TARI) singled out Cassava Brown streak and Cassava mosaic as some of the different species of plant pathogenic virus wreaking havoc on farms in the region.
“We want to equip our scientists on the effects of climate change on agriculture,” he said.
The training, according to Dr Mkamilo also served as a platform for forging cooperation among ASARECA 14 member countries and sensitizing scientists on the enabling policies of CSA.
Founded in 1994, ASARECA’s mission has been to contribute to Increased Productivity, Commercialization, and Competitiveness of the Eastern and Central Africa Agricultural Sector Through Strengthening, Catalyzing, and Coordinating Agricultural Research for Development in the ECA Sub Region.