Virtual International Conference on West African food security storage underway
Report by: Ben LARYEA
The ECOWAS Commission has held a virtual international conference in collaboration with stakeholders in the agricultural sector on the West African food security storage system in Accra.
The conference which started from 28th April to 10th May, 2021 aims to create a platform for partners in the agricultural value chain in West Africa to share and deliberate on issues and challenges on regional food security hence eliminating hunger in the sub-region by 2030.
In addition, it will lay a resilient foundation for a renewed multilateral partnership to enhance and sustain the West African food security storage system and the capacity to respond to the complication and complexity of food, nutrition and food crisis in the sub-region.
The 7 day event will attract stakeholders in the agricultural sector including regional member states, UEMOA, Network of Producers and Women’s Organizations – ROPPA, ROAC, RBM, APESS, Gender Network, Women’s Network for Conflict Prevention and management, United Nations System Organisation, NGOs, research bodies and universities.
The conference falls within the capitalization of the European Union (EU) funded support project to the sub-region food security storage system following its five years of implementation, where an internal capitalization of results have made it possible to systematize achievements.
In her opening statement, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Mrs. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of ECOWAS urged stakeholders in the agricultural value chain to be committed and continue to deepen dialogue to the crisis response coordinating mechanisms in line with the ECOWAS heads.
She added that pragmatic measures are been put in place to ensure that agricultural produce are appropriate and in good condition for human consumption since the scaling up of storage mechanisms across the West African sub-region.
She added that, this have led to enormous job creation and however called on member states to engage each other to ensure that food security is sustained.
Recalling the country’s impact on food security, she said it is as a result of the prudent initiatives such as the West Africa food security storage support project which have made strides through the School Feeding programme and other food related projects.
In a remark, the Commissioner in Charge of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resource of ECOWAS, Sekou Sangare advocated for the consumption of local produce and challenged farmers to embrace farming as a lucrative venture.
This he noted would also address food insecurity challenges in the West Africa sub-region.