REGIONAL AGENCY FOR AGRICULTURE AND FOOD
AGENCE RÉGIONALE POUR L'AGRICULTURE ET L'ALIMENTATION
AGÊNCIA REGIONAL DA AGRICULTURA E ALIMENTAÇÃO
Niamey (Niger), 24 September 2018. To stimulate the participation of POs in the tenders of the Regional Reserve, an information campaign is being conducted by the consortium "Oxfam-Afrique verte-Jade Productions-Inter-réseaux on behalf of ECOWAS. It aims to inform, advise and train the various organizations of cereals producers and processors in West Africa and the Sahel on the terms of supply and reconstitution of the Regional Reserve. The approach consists in developing a database of targeted POs, setting up an interactive information and communication system and strengthening and transferring skills for ownership of the scheme.
Since the launch of this campaign in July 2017, the consortium has worked on many issues and has achieved significant results, namely the production of an action plan, the production of a communication strategy, the launch of a quarterly newsletter, the development of a website awaiting operationalization, the joint publication – consortium/ECOWAS – of articles on POs and institutional markets and the ongoing preparation of other tools.
In addition, pending the launch of new calls for tender by ECOWAS and in order to meet the information and training needs of POs on tender documents, the consortium is currently focusing its efforts on the strengthening of POs capacities. To this end, a first series of trainings is scheduled in several French and English-speaking countries of the region on various themes identified from the self-evaluation of POs. A training was conducted in Kaduna, Nigeria, last August, which helped build the capacity of two Nigerian federations of producers’ organizations (Jussaf and Rice and Wheat Farmers' Association) on the conduct of cereals quality analysis. The same support is ongoing in Niger for three federations of POs (Mooriben, SAA and Fucap) from 24 to 28 September 2018 for 45 participants. Soon, this support will also be provided to two Burkinabe POs (UPPRS and Fepab) and a Malian PO (AOPP). In addition, while trying to better define the type of support to be provided to Guinea (Cnop) and Senegal (Asprodeb), support in accounting and administrative management is being prepared for the POs selected in Burkina Faso.
In its effort to structure the demand for cereals and increase the incomes of local producers, ECOWAS clearly indicates that the supply of products for the Regional Reserve must be made primarily through the associations of producers and processors of the region. In addition, by gradually positioning themselves through sustained advocacy and lobbying efforts, POs are more and more at the forefront of the battle for better access to institutional markets and thus, remind ECOWAS that it must further promote a friendly-environment for investment to drive improvements in local production and processing practices.
As a reminder, the Regional Food Security Reserve, as a regional instrument for agricultural public policy is therefore one of the main building blocks of the construction of the ECOWAS of Peoples.