ECOWAS launches project to monitor agricultural information in West Africa
The project dubbed “ECOWAS Agricultural Information System (ECOAGRIS)” aims to help decision makers to have and use reliable data and updated analyses to better formulate and monitor strategies for agricultural development.
It would also help to effectively manage food security issues and promote the trade of food products in the sub-region.
The initiative was designed with the inception of Agricultural Policy of ECOWAS and Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Program.
In 2007, the process of conceptualization of the project started and followed different steps including definition and validation of conceptual note at regional and national level (Ouagadougou-2007), adoption of global objectives (Contonou-2008), adoption of specific objectives and expected results of ECOAGRIS (Dakar-2009), validation of the orientation (Abuja-2009) and compilation of the final terms of reference for role of implementation ECOAGRIS (Cotonou-2008).
The project has also been through implementation phases such as assessment of information system in the ECOWAS countries, distribution of Information Technology equipment to national bodies in charge of agricultural information system, setting up interconnection of local networks in ECOWAS countries and commissioning of the regional system to all stakeholders.
Launching the project, Nii Amasah Namoale, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture expressed happiness about the project and commended ECOWAS for its immense contribution towards combating food insecurity in the sub-region.
He called on ECOWAS to establish a Commodity Market in the sub-region to facilitate the movement of goods and services and facilitate trading activities among member countries.