Food and Nutrition Security
EAC region is endowed with a wide range of resources including land, water, favorable climate, human resources and market outlets that provide for potential food security within the community. However, food insecurity remains rampant in some parts of the region.
Important common constraints to achieving food and nutrition security are diverse. They include overdependence on rainfed agriculture, high post-harvest loses (averaging 30-40%), low adoption of high-yielding and pest-resistant/tolerant varieties/breeds; low quality of produce; poor access to inputs; negative environmental and climate change impacts, and climate variability; inability of smallholder producers to meet stringent market requirements due to low produce and low quality of produce; poor pre& post-harvest management regimes and market linkages, prevalence of pests and diseases and poor infrastructure. All these factors have constrained availability, accessibility and utilization of food.
The EAC Food and Nutrition Security Programme is designed to ameliorate the aforementioned challenges.
- In January 2019, the Council of Ministers adopted a five-year (2019 – 2024) EAC Regional Food and Nutrition Security Strategy (FNSS) and Action Plan (FSAP) to guide the implementation and actualization of the regional food security objectives. FNSS and FSAP consolidate achievements made during the implementation of the Food Security Action Plan adopted by the Summit in 2011. They are designed to address prevailing gaps and challenges still undermining food and nutrition security in the region. FNSS and FSAP provide a unified approach to implementation, coordination and monitoring of the food and nutrition security programs at national and regional level. EAC Partner States are obligated to integrate the two instruments into their national policies and agriculture investment plans to achieve food and nutrition security.
- In September 2018, the EAC Secretariat with technical and financial support from NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency convened a regional capacity development workshop on Food and Nutrition Security Knowledge Management. The main objective of the workshop was to strengthen EAC Partner States capacity on knowledge sharing and monitoring in the region as stipulated in the Malabo Declaration on commitment to end Hunger by 2025. The workshop resulted to creation of Community of Practice and launch of EAC regional hub on food and security matters.
- In enhancing access to information, EAC has established two online systems, the Regional Food Balance Sheet (RFBS) and Animal Resources Information System (ARIS) to facilitate information exchange and support decision-making. RFBS provides evidence-based data about food stocks availability to inform policy decisions on movement of food from regions of surplus to deficit in the EAC. The ARIS database is an important tool for generation of data and information to guide decision-making and influence policy actions on strategic investments in the livestock and fisheries sub- sectors. EAC Partner States dedicated support to ensure ownership, institutionalization and long-term sustainability of these systems is critical.
- EAC Secretariat and Kilimo Trust are jointly implementing a three-year project (2019 - 2022) to enhance competitiveness of the rice sub-sector. The central aim of the project is to enable locally produced rice in East Africa to competitively substitute the current over 300 million US$ worth of rice imports to the EAC Common Market. The project will contribute to inclusive transformation of the rice sector in East Africa for sustainable increase in incomes of 220,000 women, men and young people employed in the value chain of locally produced rice in the EAC.