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ECOWAS Signs 15 Grant Agreements worth €1.3 Million to Promote Capacity Building on Agroecology in Members Countries

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, signed grant agreements with 15 training Centers to increase the capacity on agroecology in Member States as part of the implementation of the ECOWAS Agroecology Programme co-funded by the European Union and the French Development Agency. The grant agreements have a total budget of €1,320,784.43 from the European Union, or roughly €88,000 per center, and are expected to last an average of 18 months to train 12,000 young people in the Region.

With the overall goal of developing a human resource and environmentally friendly system that will sustain and increase agricultural productivity and create resilient rural societies, each grant’s purpose is to establish the framework of collaboration between ECOWAS and the recipient Center for the implementation of the Program activities in West Africa. The 15 training centers, one for each Member State, were chosen after appropriate consultation and evaluation.

Through the agreements, ECOWAS wants to strengthen the training standards, build the centers’ expertise on current agroecology-related topics, and raise the annual number of individuals receiving agroecology training. By 2024, the Program hopes to have taught around 12000 young people in the region in agroecology, including men and women.

More specifically, the goal of the support is to strengthen the training capacities of the centers in order to: (i) promote quality training systems integrating application of theoretical and practical lessons on agroecological techniques and good practices according to the environment; (ii) increase the number of young people trained, particularly rural people; and (iii) foster their networking over time; and (iv) make it easier for them to connect with other training centers.

With the Songhai Centre in Benin and the CIDAP Centre in Togo serving as reference centers, the Program’s objective is to facilitate networking and dissemination of pilot experiences and promising agroecology approaches in other countries of the sub-region, particularly in the Sahel. This includes ECOWAS support for training centers.

Recall that the ECOWAS Agroecology Programme aims to promote the creation of novel techniques that maximize the mobilization of ecological processes in the fields of agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries production in the ECOWAS zone by assisting family farms in making the transition to an agroecological model that enables them to balance economic performance, food security, environmental preservation, and population health.

The Support Project for Agroecological Transition in West Africa (PATAE), funded by the French Development Agency (FDA) at 8 million euros, and the Support Project for the Dissemination and Implementation of Good Practices for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (PAIAD), funded by the European Union at 8.2 million euros, make up the 16.2 million euro total budget of the two projects. It is set to expire in 2024 and covers the 15 ECOWAS members.

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