New initiative to open opportunities in West Africa’s agric value chains

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have launched a new initiative to boost food production, job and income opportunities for farmers including smallholders and SMEs through advancing agriculture value chains in West Africa.

UNDP’s African Facility for Inclusive Markets (AFIM) and the ECOWAS Commission have convened multiple stakeholders representing governments, UN agencies, private sector, farmers, financiers and civil societies for a West Africa Project Facilitation Platform (PFP).

In a statement, August 30, 2012, the UNDP said the West Africa platform is discussing partnerships and value addition of the various stakeholders in strategic agri-food value chains, especially cassava, onions and mango.

“A new private sector is emerging in Africa with great potential for creating new jobs, generating higher incomes and delivering products and services for all. Agriculture value chains and agribusiness are critical to advance food security and economic opportunities” stated Tomas Sales, AFIM Manager.

According to Alfred Braimah, ECOWAS Director, Private Sector, developing and operating efficient and effective value chains is critical for SMEs to achieve competitiveness in regional and global markets.

Towards this goal, Braimah expressed that the ECOWAS commission is fully committed to the partnership with UNDP for the implementation for the West Africa platform. “This initiative engages the private sector and other key stakeholders to strengthen selected value chains and increasing food production and security,” he added.

The level of participation for this West Africa platform is very encouraging, and we are looking forward to the implementation of the innovative and transformative solutions discussed, said Tomas Sales, UNDP AFIM Manager.

By Ekow Quandzie

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.