The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is seeking ways to ensure that a physical stockpile of 40, 000 metric tonnes of food reserve is established for member states of the sub-region to provide security against any food shortage.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a two-week ongoing virtual event attended by Ministers of Agriculture and technocrats, and backed by the West African Monetary Union, international financial institutions, UN bodies, international NGOs, private sector and civil society, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Sékou Sangaré, noted that the conference is designed as a space for sharing and reflecting on the experiences of food security storage in West Africa.

Offering an opportunity for policy dialogue between the sub-region and its partners, the conference aims to bring about an effective collaboration to enable the increase of West Africa’s capacity to address the looming food, nutrition, and pastoral crises.

ECOWAS’ efforts follow a five-year implementation of the regional storage strategy adopted in 2012, with the support of the European Union, and it is aimed at promoting food sovereignty, intra-regional trade, and integration, and complementing member states’ efforts in eliminating hunger; hence, in the course of sitting, the conference will assess the achievements, challenges and important lessons learned in the three lines of defense led by ECOWAS authorities, in consultation with their regional and international partners.

Ultimately, vital information on the progress made, achievements, and difficulties encountered will outline and characterize the organization’s prospects for the next 10 years in a context of major and rapid changes while laying the foundations for an enlarged partnership around the regional food reserve system, capable of responding effectively to the food, nutritional and pastoral crisis that affect the living conditions of the population wiring the region.