APRIL 21, 2022


Matthias Schmale, the UN’s Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria has stated that the West African and Sahel sub-regions food economy is projected to hit $480 billion in 2030.
At the 13th Multidisciplinary Team Meeting of 15 West African countries and Sahel sub-region held in Abuja, where they were brainstorming the way forward for the food and nutrition situation in the region Schmale announced this. The meetings theme being “Joining Efforts to Build Resilient Agrifood Systems in West Africa and Sahel”.

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation) of UN is where the growth will be attributed to, by their systemic approach undertaken in maintaining the development in the fight against hunger, poverty and progressing to deliver other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The challenges being faced by West Africa’s agri-food sources are a declining natural resource base, recurrent natural and human-caused disasters, climate change, and rising insecurity.

By appealing to West African countries to seize the opportunity to build resilient systems throughout the region and align with the FAO’s framework to address structural policy constraints, he’s noted these significant trends will provide the prospects of production increase, value increase, create jobs and food security in turn.

FAO representative in Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero, said FAO emphasised on the area of data and analytics for the generation of evidence to guide responsible investments and partnerships for food systems transformation.

“We are glad our partners from ECOWAS are joining us to advance food security and nutrition in West Africa and to contribute to knowledge sharing regarding challenges, threats, and opportunities to move agri-food systems in the region towards sustainability.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar assured of government willingness to partner with FAO and other development partners in driving for a resilient agrifood system in the country in particular and in West Africa and Sahel in general.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the three days meeting expected over 200 delegates from the ECOWAS member states including senior officials, ministers and commissioners of agriculture, FAO staff, regional technical organisations, Civil Society among others to participate.

Source: The Guardian, March 2022


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