Enhancing Trade and Food Security in CILSS Member States

July 13, 2016 OPINION/NEWS


Alpha Jallow / FAO

Member states of the Permanent Inter-states Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and development partners from the West Africa sub-region will meet in the capital city of Burkina Faso for a two-day meeting to engage discussions on trade development and food security and nutrition issues.

FAO and CILSS have partnered in a study to identify and analyze constraints to trade in agricultural products including livestock, forestry and fisheries between member countries of the CILSS, as well as ECOWAS, with the view of capitalizing on best practices on cross-border trade in the region, in addition to proposing an appropriate strategy for promoting trade and advocacy tools.

“We all agree that the size of the CILSS agricultural and food markets is expected to expand with trade as the key driver and we also recognize that trade and market opportunities can play a vital role in enhancing food security and nutrition,” confirmed, Mr Madi Savadogo, on behalf of FAO Representative to Burkina Faso.

The meeting in Ouagadougou will provide an opportunity to validate the findings from the study, enhance understanding of the constraints and opportunities for cross-border trade in agricultural commodities among countries and to design strategies for addressing these for promoting food security and nutrition.

According to Mr Clément Ouédraogo, representing CILSS Executive Secretary at the technical meeting, the initiative is in line with the CILSS Trade Policy and the ECOWAS Agro-Industrialization Policy. “We aim at developing advocacy tools for policy dialogue on cross-border trade that will serve to strengthen the existing partnership with CILSS and Civil Society groups within the sub-region; women especially are much involved in trade across borders and therefore are the most affected by the issues that constraint trade in the sub-region,” advocated Mr Clément Ouédraogo.

In his statement Mr Christophe Joshep Marie Dabiré, Commissioner of Regional Markets and Trade of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) commented on FAO’s technical support to assess trade and its implication for food security in CILSS as it reflected priorities in the region and trade can play vital role in reducing food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty alleviation.

The two-day workshop is expected to present preliminary results on stocktaking of issues and constraints that impede formal and informal trade and food security and nutrition in the CILSS member states.

“We will also validate findings on the structure of cross-border trade, highlight potential priority agricultural commodities for trade policy development in CILSS member states; and make recommendations for action to address identified constraints and scale up opportunities to enhance trade and food security and nutrition in the CILSS member states with a focus on building on best practices,” explained Suffyan Koroma, FAO Senior Trade Economist.

Activities under FAO technical support to CILSS will go beyond trade and related issues in agricultural crops and livestock sectors and also examine the fisheries and forestry sectors and the interrelationships from a value chain perspective.










Alpha Jallow

Alpha is a freelance journalist from Dakar, Senegal, having worked for the BBC African Radio service, West Africa Democracy Radio (WADR) and Radio France Internationale (RFI).



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