Global Agriculture

CABI and ASARECA sign MoU to strengthen agricultural research for development

13 August 2020, Wallingford: The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and CABI have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that will enable both organisations to jointly work towards promoting their shared objectives and areas of strategic focus in Eastern and Central Africa.

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The signed MoU formalises and strengthens a long-standing partnership that has existed for over a decade, with each of the organisations individually or collectively contributing to numerous agricultural research for development initiatives in the region.

CABI and ASARECA collaborated under the Good Seed Initiative Project in 4 Eastern African countries that improved access to quality seed for indigenous vegetables. Spill over from this initiative empowered over 20,000 seed and vegetable farmers who were linked to markets resulting in increased income and nutritional security in Arusha and Dodoma, Tanzania.

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Work on Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND)

In 2014, ASARECA working with CABI and other partners successfully implemented an initiative that empowered farmers with actionable plant health knowledge on Maize Lethal Necrosis Disease (MLND). This enabled them to minimise its spread and reduce crop loses across 7 Eastern and Central African countries, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency of the maize value chain.

Between 2016 to date, both organisations have catalysed research and knowledge exchange programmes in over 10 National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs). The CABI led PlantwiseAction on Invasives and Pest Risk Information SErvice (PRISE)being implemented in-country by NARIs continue to demonstrate how collaboration between key plant health system stakeholders can effectively establish prevention, early warning, extension and management systems for invasive and migratory pests such as the fall armyworm and tomato leaf miner.

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Dr Morris Akiri, CABI Regional Director, said, “Out of the 14 member States in ASARECA sub-region, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are also CABI member countries in Africa. In addition, CABI also undertakes work in other ASARECA member countries such as Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan. So, this partnership builds on and strengthens existing regional agricultural research for development and expands it by linking to CABI’s international network of partners and global agricultural and environmental expertise.”