Expert calls for 'all-inclusive approach' to address food insecurity W. Africa - The attainment of food and nutrition security in West Africa requires an all-inclusive approach in which civil society and farmer-based organisations have a crucial role to play, according to an agriculture expert.
Ernest Aubee, the Principal Programme Officer (Agriculture) under the ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, said these stakeholders must ensure that the region moved from one of food deficit to that of food surplus.
Mr Aubee was speaking on Tuesday at a two-day sub-regional council and board meeting in Banjul organised by the West African Network of Peasants and Producers Association (ROPPA) and the National Coordination Organization of Farmers Association in the Gambia (NACOFAG) in collaboration with Aub-Rural, a sub-regional civil society organization.
The two-day meeting which opened on Monday aims to renew commitment and reflect on the importance of policy linkages on the ECOWAS Policy on Agriculture (ECOWAP) and the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) programme and to accelerate the implementation of actions at the regional level.
Mr Aubee said the challenges of food and nutrition security remained a top priority if countries were to achieve continental and global development commitments and targets such as the CAADP and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
He said the complexities of the agricultural sector, which were further compounded by issues of climate change, global economic imbalances, skewed terms of trade and growing levels of inequality and poverty, called for a more innovative and concerted approach to agricultural development in West Africa.
“The ECOWAS Commission since 2003 has taken bold steps to put in place a holistic policy for the development of the agricultural and rural sectors of West Africa,” he said.