EAC countries to help Agro processors cope with effects of Climate Change
Effects of climate change on the industry include reduced raw materials due to either prolonged dry spell or flooding wh ...
EAC countries have been advised to build the capacity of Agro processing industries in respective countries, so that they can be able to cope with emerging issues of climate change.
Effects of climate change on the industry include reduced raw materials due to either prolonged dry spell or flooding which all lead to food losses among others.
The call was made by the minister of state for Industry in the ministry of trade, Michael Werikhe Kafabusa while officiating at the first PACT EAC regional meeting at Silver Springs Hotel recently. It was organized by SEATINI Uganda and CUTS International.
The project Promoting Agriculture climate Trade (PACT) linkages in East Africa Phase2 builds capacities of East Africans for climate change awareness, trade driven, and foods security enhancing agro processing in the region.
Werikhe said that Agro industrial development presents substantial prospects for the region generating economic growth, new sources of food and income leading to poverty reduction.
"It is therefore important to support them through capacity building so that they are aware of the realities of climate change in their works and prepare them so that they can remain productive in the face of effects of climate change," said Werikhe.
According to the minister, the first phase of the PACT EAC project have already influenced Uganda Policy, notably the National Trade Sector Development plan which has a linkage between climate change to food security.
He told participants to identify key agro processing sectors so as to ably advocate for them with a view of getting specific solutions to specific challenges.
Key achievements in Uganda over the past five years include progress towards the establishment of an enabling policy environment and legal frameworks for trade industry and cooperative sectors, improved standards and quality infrastructure.
"I believe the project will provide the needed opportunities to engage participants to reevaluate national and regional policies for agro processing development, with strong considerations of impact of climate change, food security and trade," he said.
The minister noted that the main challenge hindering competitiveness in agriculture is post-harvest handling which is being addressed through the ware house receipt Authority that will store produce from farmers, so that they can sell in times of scarcity to get more money from their crops.
The meeting was aimed at reviewing recent policy research on how agro processing can become more climate aware, trade driven and food security enhancing in East Africa through more coherent policies.
According to Julian Mukiibi from CUTS international explained that the region's success in realizing this potential will partly depend on its ability to factor in the ever increasing challenges posed by climate change and working in synergies with its trade agenda.
Mukiibi explained that trade policies should ensure availability of inputs, address ensure that there are markets for processed products and access to cleaner technologies while climate change policies should support this through targeted adaptation and mitigation initiatives.