The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), among other partners have harped on the need to increase support for livestock and pastoralism to tackle conflict in the West African Sub-region.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the the13th Multidisciplinary Team Meeting initiated by the FAO Sub regional Office for West Africa, with the theme: “Joining Efforts To Build Resilient Agri-food Systems In West Africa and Sahel,” the stakeholders stressed the need to improve animal health using the one-health approach.
While the region has been faced with conflict that has affected its food systems, the stakeholders drawn from the agricultural sector in the region, also canvassed increased collaboration with research and extension institutions to enhance adoption of innovative products and technologies that would enhance agri-food system transformation.
Also emphasized was the need to engage youth and women at the heart of agri-food systems transformation interventions and related projects and programmes.
It also reiterated the need to leverage South-south cooperation to strengthen knowledge sharing, up-scaling good practices, capacity building and technical assistance.
“There is need to strengthen the adequacy of the regulatory environment to increase agricultural production, improve nutrition, raise the standard of living of rural populations and contribute to economic growth in the sub-region,” the communique read.
It however, called for the implementation of the humanitarian peace development nexus approach in the context of protracted crises, with focus on local opportunities in terms of resources, such as land, water and human resources (youth in particular) and positive narratives.
Furthermore, the communiqué recommended that FAO continue to strengthen the efforts to consolidate the partnership with sub-regional institutions, United Nations agencies, private sector, and support the implementation of the regional initiatives for the resilience of agri-food systems.
This, it said, includes initiatives towards improved intra-regional trade of agricultural products, inputs and livestock.
FAO, others seek support for livestock sector