An integrated information programme for agricultural and rural development in Eastern Africa
Between 1992 and 1994, CTA sponsored a study to assess the
agricultural information needs in Eastern Africa. A regional workshop held in
Mauritius in 1994 to review the results of this study recommended that a
programme of agricultural information delivery covering a five-year period
should be developed. It should be based on identified priority areas and the
need to coordinate activities within the region. The following priorities were
identified: the need for human resources development; enhancement of library and
information services; information management and technology; support to
publication and extension information and repackaging.
CTA contracted two consultants from the region to define a
regional integrated agricultural information programme. The draft programme was
submitted to the Committee for Regional Agricultural Information Programmes and
Strategies (CRAIPS) meeting held in Nairobi from 31 November to 1 December 1995.
The meeting reviewed the proposal and recommended modalities for implementation
of the programme especially the coordination at regional level and funding. It
reiterated the need to establish a regional agricultural information network and
for all activities to have a regional focus.
The proposed programme aims to reinforce, in a sustainable
manner, the activities of individual country units and through networking to
serve as a conduit for collecting, processing, sharing, disseminating and using
information in support of agricultural development in the region.
The regional approach should facilitate mobilization of
information with a view to support capacity building at national level. It was
also recommended that the CRAIPS be reconstituted to take into account national
representation and expertise and to include universities and other partners in a
broader definition of NARS. Two regional organizations, ASARECA and OIC will
preside over CRAIPS and provide guidance in the implementation of the
activities. It was also proposed to appoint a full-time network coordinator in
order to guarantee accountability.
The programme is being finalized using the EU logical framework
and will be validated through national and regional consultations. The
Management Development Foundation (MDF), based in Ede, the Netherlands is
assisting in this