Research Methodology

  • There are two key assumptions being made in this project. First, given a size of population (future population of EAC will be projected through past trends), the basic definition of food security will be determined by (food) Availability, (food) Access, and (Food) Absorption (3As on the demand side) and on (food) production, (food) price and (food) Pattern (3Ps) on the supply side of the equation.
  • However, for ease of comprehension and staying focused into scenario exercises, one has to narrow down to only using two critical uncertainties from a possible list of factors that determine food security provided the uncertainties chosen are fairly exogenous and unpredictable enough so that they can take completely different directions within the next decade or so. Therefore, the second assumption is that, the two most critical uncertainties for the EAC context that underpin everything else in determining food security are food production and income levels.
  • The project will therefore use the four scenario models (illustrated in the figure below) as structure to engage key stakeholders in a discussion about what must be done to achieve food security within the best scenario possible for the EAC and to avoid other unwanted scenarios from occurring. The exercise will enable participants to discuss and come up with a list of all the possible drivers, trends, changes, threats, risks, constraints and opportunities that could block or promote agriculture development and food security in the region.
  • Certainly, a good food security policy would result into increased growth for both producers and consumers. For producers, staple foods what they would want is a policy with a package of laws that will promote increased income for producers, increased production and productivity, and, decreased humanitarian assistance needs, and developed agro enterprise. This would certainly demand a kind of a revolution in the institutional-policy environment of EAC and its partner states. Such a revolution is what the regional food policy must embody to achieve sustainable food security.