WASHINGTON, November 19, 2010—The World Bank has launched the second phase of the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP-1B) in a bid to expand its support to food security in the sub-region by generating new knowledge and technologies.
Phase II of the program will add three more countries - Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Nigeria – to the Bank’s regional integration efforts through WAAPP to increase economic growth and help reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The US$122 million WAAPP-1B project was approved by the World Bank Board on September 30, 2010.
“Regional Cooperation is critical for achieving agricultural growth and food security in West Africa,” said Yusupha Crookes, the World Bank Director of Regional Integration for Africa. “The World Bank is committed to continue to help all countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) participate in this Program.”
The WAAPP is expected to help achieve significant growth in agricultural output to fight against food insecurity and poverty, and ultimately reach the MDGs, in the ECOWAS region.
The project aims to generate and accelerate adoption of improved technologies in the top priority agricultural commodities in the participating countries that are aligned with the sub-regional priorities defined by the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy.
The International Development Association (IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest) will provide US$90 million of the total cost of the project, while the Food Price Crisis Response Trust Fund will contribute US$19 million. The rest of the funding will include contributions from the participating governments.
“Achievement of the maximum potential of agricultural growth will take place in West Africa as long as the countries work in partnership to generate, share, and adopt improved agricultural technologies,” said Abdoulaye Toure, the Word Bank Team Leader for the Program. “The WAAPP will facilitate this process and contribute to achieving the 6% agricultural growth target set by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).”
The four major components of the WAAPP-1B project include: (i) Enabling conditions for sub-regional cooperation in the generation, dissemination, and adoption of agricultural technologies; (ii) Support to National Centers of Specialization; (iii) Funding of demand-driven technology generation and adoption; and (iv) Project coordination, management, monitoring and evaluation.
Launched in 2007, the first phase of WAAPP has already shown successful results in Ghana, Mali, and Senegal by setting up centers of specialization for agricultural research and increasing cooperation among researchers and institutions within the participating countries.
The program will eventually cover all countries in West Africa and generate social and economic benefits that will spill across national boundaries. The regional aspect of the program will strengthen the platform for regional policy harmonization. It will provide a regional framework for ECOWAS countries to collaborate in implementing national and regional agricultural strategies for technology generation and dissemination.