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Fruit Flies Steering Committee recommends strong Private Sector participation in Projects
 Abuja 31 July 2017 . The 3rd Steering Committee Meeting for the regional plan of monitoring and controlling Fruit Flies has recommended a strong private sector participation in the project embarked upon to rid the region of the menace Fruit Flies.


At the end of its meeting at the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja, Nigeria on the 27th of July 2017, the Committee recommended further that the private sector should be included in the National Committees of the project in Member States.


The Steering Committee also approved the 2017 – 2018 annual work plan and budget with provisions for the inclusion of new Member states in the project for wider networking and coverage.


In addition, the Committee sued that activities of the project by Member States should be included in the National Agriculture Investment Plan – Food and Nutrition Security (NAIP-FNS) in order to ensure continuity of project activities at the expiration of the project.


The steering committee also recommended that West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) should ensure that the research results are widely disseminated through the extension systems of the ECOWAS Member states while products are to be commercialized at country levels.


During the meeting, the Steering Committee noted with satisfaction the progress made by the Support Project to the regional plan or Fruit Flies monitoring and control in West Africa in addressing the challenges of Fruit Flies in the region.


It was reported that the project has made significant progress in the areas of capacity development, surveillance and monitoring and in the areas of Fruit Fly research in the region and in addressing attendant challenges. Following this, it is expected that West African mangoes and other horticultural crops will become more competitive in regional and international markets.


At the wrap up session of the Meeting, the French Agency for Development (AFD) and the European Union (EU) agreed on the extension of the current project while the next group of countries to be covered will be Nigeria, Togo and Guinea Bissau.


The meeting was presided over by the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources Mr. Tchambakou Ayassor with the Head, Agriculture Division Mr. Ernest Aubee chairing the technical sessions.


Also in attendance were pest control and fruit production experts, representatives of AFD, EU and other development partners as well as officials of the ECOWAS Commission.


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