Wednesday, Jul 15, 2020

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The economies of the countries of the IGAD region (with the exception of Djibouti) are agriculture based with agriculture contributing over 30% to the total GDP. Over 80% of the population are rural and depend on smallholder agriculture for their livelihood and agriculture is considered not only as the main source of food, but also as the engine of growth for these economies. IGAD's strategy is to support national agricultural policies in a manner that promotes cooperation among the member states for mutual benefit, while ensuring that the policies are based on rational use of natural resources and encompass sound environmental management in order to achieve sustainable development.

The agriculture and environment priority sector has four thrusts:

  1. agricultural development and food security,
  2. natural resources and energy,
  3. environment protection, and
  4. dryland agricultural research and technology.

The Division also coordinates the programme activities of the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) based in Nairobi Kenya. The main objective of ICPAC as a specialized centre is to provide climate information, prediction products and services, for early warning, and related applications to reduce climate related risks for disaster management, environment management and poverty reduction in support of Sustainable Development efforts of the member countries.

The Division works closely with partners such as the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), African Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Global Mechanism (GM), United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), World Meteorological Organization (WMO), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), ALive (World Bank). The Division actively participates in the negotiations for the 10 th EDF future funding of its projects and programmes.


Agriculture, Livestock and Food Security


IGAD activities in the Agriculture, Livestock and Food Security Programme Area are based on the Regional Food Security Strategy drawn up for the period 2005 - 2008. The Strategy envisages regional actions for boosting food production, improving marketing and providing safety nets for vulnerable populations.

The programme has the following components:

(1) Boosting Agriculture, Livestock and Fish Production

  • IGAD Livestock Policy Initiative Project
  • Fertiliser and Inputs Programme
  • Regional Food Security Programme for Eastern and Southern Africa

(2) Improving the Efficiency of Agricultural and Food Marketing

  • Livestock Marketing Information System

Natural Resources Management

The IGAD region is endowed with varied ecosystems that are rich in fauna, flora, productive forests, grasslands, mountains, rivers and lakes that should be developed to sustain the populations. Natural resources management endeavours to centralise human interest and economic utilization of resources based on integrating production systems. This would be through promoting and popularizing alternative systems of subsistence, to ensure sustainable agriculture, food security, household energy needs and improvement of the quality of life of the people. Various approaches, techniques and knowledge for conservation and use of natural resource exist and are confined within national boundaries. The sector intends to identify such opportunities and promote their exchange and use for enjoyment of the present and future generation.

The programme has three components:

(1) Rational Utilization of Trans-Boundary Natural Resources

  • Community-based Natural Resources Management

(2) Promoting the Use of Renewable Energy Resources

  • Renewable Energy Development

(3) Promoting Rational Management of Fresh Water Resources

  • Strengthening Hydrological and Meteorological Networks Hydrological cycles observation system (IGAD-HYCOS)
  • IGAD/OSS programme on assessment and mapping of surface and ground waters in the region

Environment Protection

IGAD region faces a myriad of sustainable development and environmental challenges of which sustainable management of environmental resources is one of them. Poverty, rapid population growth, inappropriate land use and land tenure systems (policies) and poor exploitation of energy resources are some of the major problems that are the root causes for the deterioration of the natural capital base of the region. This exacerbated by recurrent drought and other natural and man-made disasters, results in intensified poverty and under-development, which in turn, accelerates the degradation of the environmental resources, thereby closing the vicious circle. Nevertheless, the IGAD region is endowed with substantial environmental resources that if properly protected and managed, the degraded environmental resources would regain their past productivity within a short time. The environmental sustainability can be achieved through awareness creation, development and strengthening of appropriate environmental policies and strategies, by putting in place relevant legislative and regulatory frameworks, including ratification of regional and global conventions.

The programme has the following components:

(1) Environmental Assessment

  • Revision of the IGAD Environment Strategy
  • Replacement of Current Meteosat Receiving Stations
  • African Monitoring of the Environment for Sustainable Development (AMESD) Project
  • IGAD Environment Outlook Process

(2) Cooperation in Addressing Environmental Challenges

  • Promoting Environmental Education and Training
  • Strengthening Environmental Pollution Control
  • Sustainable Management of Trans-boundary Natural Resources and Biodiversity through Building Capacity in Environment Assessment and Monitoring
  • Environmental Component of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)

(3) Multilateral Environmental Agreements and Conventions

  • Implementation of IGAD Sub-regional Action Programme (IGAD-SRAP) in the context of the UNCCD
    1. Support to development and implementation of SRAP and NAPs Projects
    2. Implementation of the Community Exchange and Training Project (CETP)
    3. A Partnership Initiative for Sustainable Land Management in IGAD Sub-region

Dryland Agricultural Research and Technology

More than half of the IGAD region is classified as Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL). The severe as well as recurrent droughts that hit the region hamper agricultural production, particularly in the ASALs. Furthermore, these areas are characterised by limited income opportunities and the majority of the people are chronically food insecure. The technologies developed for high rainfall lands are not the most suitable to be used in the ASALs, so their impact on productivity is limited and are not able to close the food gap of these perennially deficit zones. Hence, arises the need for setting up within IGAD a permanent programme for Dryland Agricultural Research and Technology.

The overall objective of the programme is to enhance food security in the dryer parts of the IGAD region through cooperation, integration and exchange of technologies and information concerning promotion of production in the ASALS. Specifically the programme aims:

  • To build capacity for ASALs Agricultural research and extension;
  • To improve exchange of dryland technology and technology transfer;
  • T o strengthen both public and private research centres and extension services that can promote the production of the desired crop varieties;
  • to promote linkages among regional dryland research institutions and with international research institutions that work on dryland crops;
  • To contribute in establishing Drylands research centres of excellence

The programme has the following components:

(1) Promoting Sustainable Production of Drought Tolerant High Yielding Crop Varieties through Research and Extension

(2) Water Harvesting Pilot Project in the IGAD Region



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