Regional gene bank elevated to animal centre of excellence

It has been agreed to fast-track its operationalization on top of ensuring that all stakeholders adhere to the set standards.

The Eastern Africa sub-regional gene bank hosted at NAGRC&DB has been upgraded to become an African Union Animal Resources Seed Centre of Excellence.

The decision was reached at in December, 2021 at the fourth ordinary session of Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARDWE).

In May this year, NAGRC&DB and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) welcomed it.

ASARECA is a non-political organization of the national agricultural research systems in Eastern and Central Africa and is responsible for coordinating, convening and facilitating the 12-member states under the Eastern African Sub-Regional Focal Point (S-RFP) agenda, including working with NAGRC&DB to operationalize the Eastern Africa sub-regional gene bank in Entebbe.

The NAGRC&DB and ASARECA teams welcomed the proposed upgrade, which is in tandem with the global plan of action for sustainable management of animal genetic resources. This makes the gene bank in Uganda a Centre of Excellence (CoE).

Animal gene banks provide storage facilities for germplasm (a collection of genetic resources for an organism), albeit with different objectives and involvement of stakeholders and institutional frameworks.

During the meeting, member states confirmed their commitment to work closely to push the agenda of conserving bio-diversity, including transboundary indigenous breeds.

Meanwhile, NAGRC&DB and ASARECA agreed to fast-track its operationalization on top of ensuring that stakeholders adhere to set standards.

The African Union Animal Resources Seed Centre of Excellence serves Uganda, Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania.



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