Agriculture and AgriBusiness

Regional Agricultural Policy for West Africa

The Economic Comunity of West African State, an economic Union similar to the European Union is stricture and goals, has an agricultural policy in place to coordinate and assure effective Agricultural production across the sub-region that is more cost-effective and also on a mutual and effective market distribution platform.

 

Even before this policy formulated by ECOWAS, West Africa, is an agricultural region exporting some of the major cash crops of the world like Cacao, Coffee and oil palm, has for centuries been considered an agro region with a majority of her demographic employed, formally or informally, in the agricultural sector. 

In 2007 .preceding the European Union   Paris conference on the Regional Agricultural Policy for West Africa held in  December 2008, a policy for the West African subregion Union  (ECOWAS), was formulated. this policy was preceded by several initiatives that brought the subregion closer to the policy. Amongst the previous initiatives were:-

  • Framework for the West African Agricultural
    Policy-ECOWAP.
  • The Decision adopting an agricultural
    policy fro the Economic Community of
    the West African States – ECOWAP and its annexe.
  • Regional action plan for implementation of the
    ECOWAS agricultural policy and CAADP/
    NEPAD in West Africa.
  • Memorandum on the increase in food prices:
    the situation, outlook, strategies and recommended
    measures.

This policy, part of the European Union Africa, Caribbean and Pacific(EU-ACP) arrangement of the European Union international coöperation came about from the fact that “despite its importance in the West African economy, agriculture in the region is characterised by low productivity and plagued by major environmental constraints. A 25% decline in rainfall over the last fifty years has had serious consequences for dryland areas.” ECOWASAP

Alongside this project funded by the European Union, is the World Bank-funded West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP).

“The development goals of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program Project (WAAPP) for Mali are to generate and give improved technologies in the participating countries top priority areas that are aligned with the region’s top priorities, as identified by West and Central Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD/CORAF). These include roots and tubers in Ghana; rice in Mali; and cereals in Senegal. The region’s consumers, particularly those affected by extreme poverty, are the WAAPP’s ultimate beneficiaries.”(World Bank http://projects.worldbank.org/P094084/west-africa-agricultural-productivity-program-waapp?lang=en)

West African countries are now in a better place to do high-quality, production-boosting agricultural research than they were a decade ago, thanks to the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP). Since 2008, this World Bank initiative has invested much in agricultural research infrastructure and human capacity as well as supporting regional and cross-country collaboration.“(World Bank  http://pim.cgiar.org/2018/01/29/world-bank-investment-boosts-west-african-agricultural-research-regional-collaboration/ )