REGIONAL AGENCY FOR AGRICULTURE AND FOOD
AGENCE RÉGIONALE POUR L'AGRICULTURE ET L'ALIMENTATION
AGÊNCIA REGIONAL DA AGRICULTURA E ALIMENTAÇÃO
The President of the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, and the Regional Director “Sub-saharan Africa Department”, French Development Agency (AFD), Philippe Chedanne, signed a subsidy agreement for integration and security of livestock farming and pastoralism in West Africa. The event took place on 26 April 2018 in Abuja, Nigeria, in the presence of Denys Gauer, the French Ambassador to Nigeria.
The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the high-level meeting of Ministers of Security and Agriculture/Animal Resources from ECOWAS Member States, Cameroon, Chad, Mauritania and the Central African Republic, on pastoralism and cross-border transhumance. The purpose of the meeting was to propose concrete and lasting solutions to the current challenges facing pastoralism in the region.
The “Integrated and Sustainable Livestock Farming and Pastoralism in West Africa” project (PEPISAO), financed by AFD, aims to ease conflict among farmers and herders by building a shared regional view of the different forms of livestock farming.
“The increasingly significant challenge to conflict prevention and management in West Africa recently led AFD to invest further in the need to secure more detailed information on ongoing transformation that will in turn provide a clearer direction for AFD’s funding operations in that regard “, explained Philippe Chedanne.
Financed to the tune of €5 million and for a duration of four years, the project will aid in the creation of a knowledge base, dialogue platforms, innovative actions, and public policies.
The project will be managed by ECOWAS Commission in line with its mandate and leadership role in the coordination of regional agricultural policies in West Africa. The Commission is expected to delegate the management of two components within the project to the Executive Secretariat of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).
“ECOWAS fully appreciates AFD’s financial support for the development of livestock farming and pastoralism. We trust that the collaboration between our two institutions, which is already exemplary, will be further consolidated and strengthened. I am convinced that our united efforts and resources will speedily foster the growth and development of livestock farming and pastoralism in West Africa”, stated the ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Sekou Sangare.
It is worth noting that in recent years, interest in livestock farming and pastoralism has greatly increased due to their socio-economic impact in region.
For a strongly mobilised network of livestock farmers on the one hand, and with the growing concerns over insecurity across the Sahel-Sahara belt on the other hand, West African States, Regional Institutions and the International Community are focusing heavily on the theme of stable and safe pastoralism.
Providing solutions to emerging problems confronting livestock farming and pastoralism in West Africa requires a forward-looking view and one that is shared among Sahel and coastal countries and the numerous actors concerned.
“ECOWAS, Sahel and coastal countries, over and beyond resource control competition and conflicts, could outline a truly regional approach to developing the livestock farming sector, which will encompass safe pastoralism, well managed transhumance, and better structured cross-border branches for the benefit of all. This should be our focus”, Mr. Sangare appealed.
Components of the 2011-2020 ECOWAS Regional Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP) covering this sector are outlined in an action plan to develop and transform livestock farming in Member States.
ECOWAS has also drawn up several rules and procedures to establish the key principles for regulating interstate transhumance across the region.