New ECOWAS Regional Agricultural Investment Plan
Following the specialised technical experts’ meeting, ECOWAS ministers endorsed the new ECOWAS Regional Agricultural Investment Plan and Food and Nutrition Security (RAIPFNS) on 12 December 2016 in Abuja. They also adopted a strategic framework for 2016-20, including a results framework to measure the impact and progress made in its implementation. The new plan builds on an in-depth assessment of achievements and takes stock of the limits of the ECOWAS regional agricultural policy, known as ECOWAP. It also takes into account all major policies and global initiatives (SDGs, Paris Declaration, etc.) relevant to achieving food security, and ultimately food sovereignty in the region. Despite some progress, West African agriculture remains largely under-funded. West African countries devote on average about 5% of their public budget to agriculture, only half of the 10% target fixed by the African Union’s Malabo Declaration. The RAIPFNS aims to 1) contribute to increasing agro-forestry-pastoral and fisheries productivity and production through diversified and sustainable production systems, and to reducing post-production losses; 2) Promote contractual, inclusive and competitive agricultural and food value chains oriented towards regional and international demand, with a view to the regional market integration; 3) Improve access to food, nutrition and resilience for the vulnerable populations; and 4) Improve business environment, governance and funding mechanisms of the agricultural and food sector. Special emphasis will also be placed on strengthening inter-sectoral governance and closing the data gaps. “As of January 2017, we are ready for implementation. We count on our own forces; the implementation of PRIAFNS will be funded through community resources and member states that also finance the implementation of their national plans. At the same time, we will privilege a participatory, dynamic and productive approach, and work together with our partners”, declared Alain Sy Traoré, the ECOWAS commission director in charge of agriculture. The regional plan will be complemented by National Agricultural Investment Plans (NAIPs) that are currently being created and are set to be validated by June 2017.
Listen to the Interview with Alain Sy Traoré: https://youtu.be/FlQqVheIwII