The West Africa Food Market (Wafm) programme hereby declares the launch of its second phase:late submission is now being assessed. It intends to enhance the design of regional agriculture projects through a flexible approach. The scope of work will include: implementation of project based risk management; the design of enterprise structure; development of agricultural extension programs; and improvement of agricultural marketing systems. These activities will be integrated with: training of rural communities; introduction and diversification of local agriculture markets; and improvement of food security in vulnerable areas.
The programme has proposed three methods to reach the goal of “sustainable development” of the west Africa food market. Firstly, the programme has proposed two approaches to equipping the sector with modern technology. This technology will allow farmers to exchange produce between themselves. The benefit will be full access to the national market. This is expected to reduce farm inputs such as fuel and fertiliser by more than 50%.
The second method is to train young men in horticulture and agriculture for a specified period of time. The workers will be allowed to access the national market after completion of training. This is designed to improve the level of exchange of information and eventually to encourage farmers to join the national process of marketing their produce. The last method is for the farmers to enter a fully subscribed WAFM network. In this case, the farmer would be required to participate in an agreed number of sifting and sampling events each year.
The main aim of the programme is to provide the needed finance to African farmers in order to increase their production of commodities in line with the current and upcoming demand in the international market. In line with this strategy, the programme has designed a mechanism for agricultural fund allocation. This is used to purchase raw materials, fertilisers and machinery at low prices. These commodity investments are used to improve the production of finished products and for new agricultural development. In turn, this will support the overall development of the west africa food market.
There are two main areas that this programme focuses on. Firstly, it focuses on the development of agriculture in west Africa through implementation of agricultural finance programs. This ensures that smallholders have access to capital and become eligible for customised foreign exchange trade. Secondly, it facilitates the integration of agricultural production markets by promoting the establishment of agro-industrial units. These facilities provide the necessary financing and trading platforms for the processing of commodities in different zones across west Africa.
As a result, the programme has played a key role in unlocking capital for the agricultural sector in west Africa. Through these programmes, investment in infrastructure and production capacity is improved. At the same time, these agricultural commodities exchange commodities benefit the local market by reducing overage cost and helping to increase agricultural production. Ultimately, this will help to diversify the export basket and boost the competitiveness of the west africa agricultural production sector.