The Government of Eritrea has signaled its commitment to embrace the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Framework as a means to enhancing agriculture and food security in the country.
During a sensitization workshop held in Asmara on 13-14 September 2012, State Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Arefaine Berhe, said agriculture is the number one priority of the Government of Eritrea, and they are committed to transforming the sector from one of subsistence to one of surplus in a sustainable manner.
“The government has been earmarking significant resources to strengthen the institutions of research, extension and intermediate and higher education in the agricultural sector, including farmers training facilities,” said hon. Berhe.
The Minister reiterated Eritrea’s commitment to accelerating the CAADP agenda in the country and also commended COMESA for its efforts in enhancing development and cooperation in the agricultural sector.
Mr Thierry Mutombo, the acting Director for Investment Promotion and Private Sector Development (IPPSD), said Eritrea has some lessons to learn from other COMESA Member States already implementing the CAADP agenda.
“One of the major lessons learnt from Member States that are at an advanced stage in the CAADP implementation process is that in order to succeed, this has to be taken up and internalized within a country’s development processes and related structures,” Mr Mutombo said.
Mr Mutombo assured Eritrea of COMESA’s support and its availability to share lessons as it embarks on the CAADP journey.
“Eritrea has an added advantage because you will be able to draw best practices from a pool of 15 Member States that are ahead in the implementation of the CAADP process,” he said.
Eritrea becomes the sixteenth Member State to launch the CAADP process. Eleven of these have already signed the National CAADP Compact. These are:Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Seychelles, Democratic Republic of Congo and Djibouti. Six of the 11 have successfully developed their National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) and out these, 4 have accessed funding for the National agricultural Investment Plans from the Global Agriculture Food Security Program (GAFSP).