Constraints and challenges of the EAC Agriculture sector
Agricultural production and productivity in the EAC is largely constrained by natural factors, policy and adoption of technologies.
The reasons for poor performance of the agricultural sector include:
- Policy related constraints
- Poor Governance
- Inadequate legal and regulatory framework
- Inadequate access to productive resources
- Inadequate participation of local communities
- Poor physical infrastructure and utilities
- Weak institutional framework
- Low public expenditure
- Technology related factors
- Inadequate research, extension services and training
- Prevalence of pests and diseases
- Nature related factors
- Degradation of natural resources
- Climatic and weather unpredictability
- Cross cutting and cross-sectoral related factors
- High incidence of poverty
- Inadequate social infrastructure
- Gender inequality
These constraints have inhibited the rural economy’s potential to alleviate poverty through employment creation and income generation; meet growing food needs driven by rapid population growth and urbanisation; stimulate overall economic growth, given that agriculture is the most potential lead sector for growth and development; and conserve natural resources.
Despite these challenges, East Africa has a significant irrigation potential that remains unexploited. Irrigation can play an important role in increasing agricultural productivity, expanding area under production and stabilising agricultural production in situations of adverse weather conditions.