ECOWAS, AFD launch agro-ecological transition support project
To support the implementation of the ECOWAS Regional Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP), ECOWAS and AFD launched an agro-ecological transition support project on 27 April in Abuja. The project will cover five West African countries: Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal and Togo. With a budget of EUR 8 million, the programme will finance field projects that support agro-ecological intensification on family farms; it will also support methods to organise and manage this transition. Some 15 projects will be selected through a call for proposals. They will benefit from three years of financial support, with an average amount of EUR 400 000 per project. The programme capitalises on the experience of previous programmes that were launched in 2011 and 2014. The implementation will be co-ordinated by the ECOWAS Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF) with technical support from Veterinarians Without Borders (AVSF), the Institute for Research and Application of Development Methods (IRAM) and the African Institute for Economic and Social Development (INADES Formation). In the context of climate variability and climate change, the scaling up of more productive and resource-efficient systems offers West African countries an opportunity to increase their resilience and address challenges related to food insecurity and nutritional deficiencies that affect poor or very poor households. “AFD assists ECOWAS in the support of family farms in West Africa, in order to enable them to sustainably produce quality food in sufficient quantity while addressing climate change,” said Philippe Chedanne, AFD’s director of the “Grand Sahel” regional unit, during the launch ceremony. ECOWAS Commissioner Sékou Sangaré highlighted the need to produce more and better food in West Africa. “While doing so, we will spend less resources on imports, we will better supply our markets with more quality products at acceptable prices, while preserving consumers’ health,” he said.