The Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly Rt Hon Martin Ngoga has appealed to the East African Community to establish regional Commission responsible to coordinate Agriculture related issues among the Six member states.
Ngoga urges that the establishment of the East African Food commission will foster food security in the region and also helps in the sourcing of resources that are needed to drive the development of the Agricultural sector in the region which doubles as the Economic back born of the EAC Economies.
“The Community has established special commissions in other sectors such as the health environment science and technology and education.
“These commissions are playing big roles in the development of such sectors. It is high time now to look at the Agricultural sector.
“This will help the community to mobilize resources to finance the sector among the member states in the region,” said Mathias Kasamba the Outgoing Chairperson of the Agricultural Tourism and natural resources committee at the East African Legislative Assembly who was reading a speech of Martin Ngoga during an online East African Community Agriculture Budget symposium.
He observed that although EAC member states agreed to invest at least 10% of their national Budget to the Agricultural sector as it was agreed in the Malabo declaration, its only Rwanda in the region that has full filled the obligation of investing 10% into the Agricultural sector and this has affected the development of the sector in the community.
The outgoing chairperson of the committee on his behalf said he will ensure all the Bills related to the Agricultural sector are passed by the regional parliament alongside tabling the new ones related to the establishment of the Food Commission.
During the same discussion the chairperson of the smallholder farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa, Hakim Baliraine noted that the Agriculture sector in the region is still lagging behind because farmers are facing many challenges such as access to credits, Extension services and poor regulation related to the trading of Agricultural inputs on the markets among the member states.
“Access to Agricultural Extension service is vital in the sector many very few farmers are accessing to these services because many of the states can’t recruit Agricultural Extension services providers because of the limited resources the sector is allocated in every financial year. That is why as farmers we support the establishment of the Food and Agricultural commission as it has been proposed by the speaker of the Assembly,” he said.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO