Home World News Emerging Markets ERO Holds Inaugural General Assembly to Accelerate Growth of Rice Sector

ERO Holds Inaugural General Assembly to Accelerate Growth of Rice Sector

Photo De Famille Des Participants
Photo De Famille Des Participants

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Rice Observatory convened its inaugural Annual General Meeting from May 21st to 23rd, 2024, in Abuja, Nigeria, under the theme “Aligning Goals and Charting a Roadmap to Accelerate the Growth of a Competitive Rice Sector in West Africa.”

In his opening address, Mr. Alain SY Traoré, Director of Agriculture and Rural Development of ECOWAS and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ECOWAS Rice Observatory (ERO), representing Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture Mrs. Massandje TOURE-LITSE, lauded the robust participation of ECOWAS Member States and esteemed partners. Notable among them were the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AfricaRice, the German Cooperation – GIZ, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Islamic Development Bank, the FCDO, AGRA, Japan through the ICA/CARD Agency, the World Bank, and other strategic allies.

Commissioner Massandje TOURE-LITSE outlined the multifaceted challenges confronting the rice sector, hindering its growth and competitiveness. These challenges encompassed low productivity, limited market access, inadequate coordination, deficient infrastructure, and susceptibility to climate change. She stressed the imperative of aligning goals and devising a strategic roadmap to expedite sectoral growth, emphasizing the enhancement of policy frameworks, advocacy for sustainable agricultural practices, amplification of government interventions, market facilitation, research and development promotion, and bolstering value chain integration.

In his address at the opening of the General Assembly, Mr. Abdullahi Abubakar, Director of Agriculture, representing H.E. Mr. Abubakar KYARI, Federal Minister of Nigeria in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development, commended ECOWAS for its initiative in establishing the ERO. This endeavor aims to foster a competitive rice sector in West Africa, meeting local demand, enhancing livelihoods, and catalyzing regional economic development.

Une Vue Des Délégués
Une Vue Des Délégués

The establishment of the ERO underscores the regional commitment to address the persistent gap between rice production and burgeoning demand in West Africa. Since the adoption of the ECOWAS Rice Offensive in 2015, the region has been steadfast in revitalizing rice farming, aligning with the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and supporting the national rice development strategies (NRDS) of member states.

With the creation of the ERO in December 2021, ECOWAS and its partners have taken a significant stride towards improving rice production, distribution, and food security in West Africa. The General Assembly serves as a pivotal platform for engaging stakeholders across the rice value chain, fostering collaboration among diverse actors, and charting a collective trajectory towards a thriving rice sector in the region.

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