ECOWAS, FAO sign technical co-operation accord

Abuja- Nigeria (PANA) -- The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has signed a Technical Co-operation Project (TCP) with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), for the implementation of a food security programme in the sub-region.
Under the agreement, which seeks to strengthen national food security programmes of ECOWAS member States through improved agricultural production on a sustainable basis, ECOWAS would receive 360 million US dollars from the FAO.
It would also encourage trade in agricultural commodities among Community member States and between the sub-region and the rest of the world.
To this end, ECOWAS would strengthen legal policy and institutional structure both at the national and sub-regional levels.
The agreement also provides for the training of ECOWAS staff at the Secretariat and government units in member countries, to upgrade their skills and capacity in the basic requirement of managing food security programmes.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, ECOWAS Deputy Executive Secretary, Integration Programme, Remi Aribisala, said the agreement marked a milestone in co-operation between ECOWAS and the FAO.
She also commended FAO for advancing some credits to ECOWAS this year to prepare projects for submission to the 9th European Development programme.
Aribisala further thanked the FAO Director General Jacques Diouf for the technical co-operation on regional food security information system, signed last year between the FAO and ECOWAS.
In addition to a Third TCP to be signed in Rome next week, Aribisala said ECOWAS would have received a total of 1.
2 million dollars from the FAO, adding: "this is a very significant level of support to ECOWAS.
" Also speaking at the signing ceremony, FAO Representative in Nigeria, Hashim A-Shami urged ECOWAS to work on the review of legal and institutional structures within its member States with a view to harmonising them to enhance food security.

02 may 2002 16:45:00

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