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ECOWAS: Nigeria needs to invest in agri infrastructure

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Monday, 29 May 2017

ECOWAS: Nigeria needs to invest in agri infrastructure

ECOWAS agriculture activities cover 15 member states, the main objective is to promote food and nutrition security in all the 15 member states and at the same time, constitute to the process of regional economic integration, and agriculture is central to the economy of all our member states. We have different programmes that cover the 15 member states of ECOWAS. In Nigeria particularly, we have programmes and projects that is being implemented by ECOWAS which includes the West African Agriculture Productivity Programme (WAAPP), it is a joint initiative of ECOWAS and the World Bank which deals with agricultural technology. We have the West Africa Seed Project, the West Africa Fertilizer Project. We have other projects like the partnership for Aflactoxion control in Africa, this programme is looking at how to reduce the harmful effects of Aflactoxion on agriculture and health. We have a lot of projects and programmes in the region which Nigeria is also benefitting from. But apart from the programmes, ECOWAS is responsible for developing regional regulations that will help to promote agriculture and in this regard, we have developed a number of regional regulations and Nigeria is a signatory to all these regulations. We have ECOWAS regulations on fertilizer, we have ECOWAS regulations on seeds, we have ECOWAS regulations on pesticides. As far as ECOWAS is concerned, Nigeria is a strategic partner, if Nigeria can promote food and nutrition security, then we are assured that more than half of the population of ECOWAS will benefit because Nigeria constitute about half of the population of ECOWAS, so Nigeria is very important.In terms of export to Europe or any other countries outside Africa, there are set rules and regulations in terms of issues dealing with quality. There are sanitary and phyto-Sanitary rules which are health related rules, also, there are broader rules when it comes to food safety and when you look at it from World Health Organisation (WHO) perspective, these rules are set to protect human lives, these rules are also set to promote good health and once you are signatory, you have to adhere to it.

Source: Tribune Online