ECOWAS adopts new agric programme to cure volatile food prices

Stakeholders in the agricultural sector of West Africa have endorsed the
ECOWAS Agricultural Programme (ECOWAP) as a veritable response to the volatile and soaring food prices in the region.

The endorsement was made at a two-day consultative meeting which ended last week October 8 in Dakar, Senegal. The meeting discussed the food price crisis and its aftermath in the region.

According to a statement from the regional body, participants stressed the need for Member States to embrace the ECOWAP because of its long-term potentials to mitigate against the price hikes and increased volatility in the regional markets.

“They highlighted three elements of the ECOWAP namely, increased production for food and nutritional security and sovereignty, creation of favourable trade environment as well as the promotion of social protection as indispensable tools for combating the causes and effects of volatile prices,” said ECOWAS.

Mr. Salifou Ousseini, ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, who spoke at the event said the war against volatile and soaring food prices in West Africa requires an integrated inter-sectoral approach and the immediate implementation of agricultural, fiscal and trade policies.

Mr. Ousseini blamed the overdependence of Member States on food importation for the serious pressure being experienced with food prices which contravenes the ECOWAS vision for food security within the region and therefore called for necessary border controls to neutralise the fluctuations with food prices.

By Ekow Quandzie

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