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Robert Dussey and Marcel De Souza have commended the achievements of the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food
L-R, Robert Dussey and Marcel de Souza

Lome, 21 July 2017. The Togolese Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Robert Dussey and the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel de Souza, have lauded the achievements of the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF) in the implementation of the region’s agricultural policy.

During their recent visit to the ECOWAS specialized agency based in Lome, Togo, they were informed of RAAF’s activities and significant output on the field after only four years of existence, through a presentation by RAAF’s Executive Director, Ousseini Salifou. He highlighted the Agency’s institutional framework, mandate and main achievements since its official launch in September 2013.

According to him, RAAF had made giant strides in the execution of its mandate with the support of partners and the host country, citing the latter’s provision of a headquarters in Lome for the Agency and its staff.

The Executive Director revealed that RAAF had established texts enabling efficient management, such as the internal regulation, manual of procedures, guide for managing project cycles, the 2015-2017 three-year plan, not to mention a communication and visibility plan, a chart and a monitoring and evaluation manual about to be completed.

The Agency’s main achievement to date, he stated, has been in coordinating the implementation of nine regional projects worth 113 million US dollars. Two of such projects led to the selection of 34 field projects underway following the publication of a call for project proposals in the ECOWAS Member States.

The field achievements include, among others, making the Regional Reserve for Food Security operational with an initial procurement of 11,250 tons of grains being stored in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger and Nigeria. This operation helped to support victims of food and nutritional security in the North East of Nigeria: 1130 tons of grains have already been delivered of the total 1650 tons planned.

The headquater of ARAA in Lome

A second procurement of 21,000 tons of grains is underway with an aim to reach 411,000 tons over the next eight years.

Capacity building of officers from the fifteen ECOWAS Member States, on project creation, climate change in agriculture and social safety nets, and training on food and nutrition security in collaboration with the Agrhymet Regional Centre and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), are also some of the achievements of RAAF.


The Agency’s other achievements include support for the Member States in enhancing the surveillance of mango orchards; research, capacity building and fruit fly control in nearly ten States; support for the countries in incorporating nutrition, social protection and the right to food in policy documents; capitalization surveys on the promotion of youth employment in the agro-sylvo-pastoral sector; and capacity building of farmer associations at regional level.

After four years of operations, RAAF is on point with the actualization of its mission. However, two key challenges remain: ECOWAS effective contribution to co-financing projects and programmes, and the operationalization of the ECOWAS Fund for Agriculture and Food (ECOWADF).

It must be recalled that RAAF is responsible for the technical implementation of the regional investment programmes and plans contributing to making the regional agricultural policy operational by calling on the institutions, organs and actors with recognized competencies.

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