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National Node of the BCH
Capacity Building Activities, Projects and Opportunities
Record information and status
Record ID
Date of creation
2005-02-07 12:34 UTC (c.mugoya@asareca.org)
Date of last update
2010-02-02 09:56 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)
Date of publication
2010-02-02 09:56 UTC (intern.ross.carroll@cbd.int)

General information
Title of the initiative
ASARECA Biotechnology and Biosafety Program
Contact person
Dr. Charles Francis Mugoya
Regional Coordinator
ASARECA Biotechnology Biosafety Programme
Plot 5, Mpigi Road
P.O. Box 765,
Phone:+256 41 322 126 (Direct), or 320212 or 320556 (General)
Fax:+256 41 322 593
Beneficiary country(ies)
  • Burundi
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Madagascar
  • Rwanda
  • Sudan
  • Uganda
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • CBD Regional Groups - Africa
Type of initiative
Main target group(s) / beneficiaries
  • Target group: Scientists, researchers and policy makers.
Ending date
Donor(s) information
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative
Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) - Biotechnology and Biosafety Programme
Plot 5, Mpigi Road
P.O. Box 765
Agency(ies) or Organization(s) implementing or sponsoring the initiative (Additional Information)
  • Organization: Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)
  • Type of Organization: Regional Organization
Activity details
Description of the initiative
ASARECA recognizes the importance that biotechnology holds for the region. Agricultural crops improved through genetic engineering, molecular marker use, and tissue culture regeneration techniques offer significant benefits including the potential of enhanced agronomic, nutritional, and marketing qualities. These technologies are critical to ASARECA's vision of transforming agriculture in the region into an engine of economic growth and stable food security.

To deliver on the promise of this new field, ASARECA launched a biotechnology and biosafety programme to promote the development and dissemination of relevant demand-driven biotechnologies for resource poor farmers as well as appropriate policies and regulations in the areas of biosafety and intellectual property rights. This will provide the subregion with an opportunity to research into the opportunities and benefits of the technology while generating knowledge on the perceived risks to the environment and food safety for knowledge-based decisions.

The ASARECA Biotechnology and Biosafety Program has set its own Agricultural Research for Development priorities in line with the ASARECA-wide goal and strategic objective that will serve as the basis for the successive calls for proposals. To achieve this objective increased investment in agricultural research is necessary. To improve the effectiveness of financial resource use a Competitive Grant Scheme (CGS) has also been launched as an additional support to agricultural Biotechnology research and development in Eastern and Central Africa and this document calls for proposals to implement this scheme.

ASARECA was formed in 1994 in an effort to enhance and mobilize resources for agricultural research in the East and Central Africa. It is a non-profit sub-regional organization for the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) in the ten Eastern and Central African countries of Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. ASARECA currently has 19 networks, programmes, and projects made up of the various commodity and sector research networks in the region.

National level activities
Human-resources development
Objective and main expected outcomes or lesson learned
Support research and development of novel biotechnologies to address pressing constraints in the region.
Support adaptation of existing biotechnologies for use in the region.
Promote the transfer and dissemination of biotechnologies to all member countries that could be benefit.
Build collaborations between agricultural research communities in ASARECA countries and between ASARECA institutions and advanced research centers around the world.
Build the capacity of ASARECA institutions to engage in research and development of biotechnology and biosafety.

The strategic goal of the program is "safe application of biotechnology for enhanced and sustainable productivity, competitiveness and value added agricultural systems".

The purpose is to promote the development and dissemination of relevant demand-driven biotechnologies for resource poor farmers as well as appropriate policies and regulations in the areas of biosafety and intellectual property rights.

The principles guiding this scheme are scientific excellence, delivery of results, regional collaboration, and regional capacity building, including capacity in grantsmanship and project management. The programme's overarching objectives for addressing regional development under ASARECA are outlined below:

Main outcomes
To deliver the stated strategic objective the program is committed to delivering on three intermediate results:

1) Demand-driven biotechnology products developed and utilized;

2) Enabling biopolicy environment for agricultural transformation and related research facilitated; and

3) Institutional strengthening, advocacy and awareness promoted.
General thematic area(s)
  • Institutional capacity
  • Human resources capacity development and training
  • Risk assessment and other scientific and technical expertise
  • Risk management
  • Scientific, technical and institutional collaboration at subregional, regional and international levels
  • Technology transfer
Additional Information
Additional Information
Other collaborating organizations
Institut des Sciences Agronomiques du Burundi (ISABU)
Institut National Pour l'Etude et la Recherche Agronomiques (INERA) - DR Congo
Department of Agricultural Research and Human Resource Development DARHRD) - Eritrea;
Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organisation (EARO);
Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI);
Centre National de Recherche Appliqué au Développement Rural (FOFIFA) - Madagascar;
Institut Des Sciences Agronomiques du Rwanda (ISAR);
Agricultural Research Corporation (ARC) - Sudan;
Division of Research and Development (DRD), Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives - Tanzania;
National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) - Uganda.