Validation Workshop on the study on: “The support of the Promotion of Strategic Agricultural Commodities Value chain Development in the IGAD Region”

 Validation Workshop on the study on: “The support of the Promotion of Strategic Agricultural Commodities Value chain Development in the IGAD Region”

Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. 11 Septembre 2014. A two day expert workshop for the validation of a study on “The support of the Promotion of Strategic Agricultural Commodities Value chain Development in the IGAD Region” has been closed this Thursday in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Opened one day before, the meeting organized by AU SAFGRAD gathered experts coming from various relevant international institutions and Representatives of IGAD Member States as well as African Union Commission (AUC). The overall objective of this workshop was to bring together all stakeholders involved in the Value Chain development in IGAD region and mainstream the needed reforms to reinvigorate agricultural commodities processing and trade. The outcome of this workshop will help define appropriate recommendations to develop and boost Agricultural commodities movement in IGAD region.

The opening ceremony was chaired by H.E. Ambassador of Algeria to Burkina Faso, on the behalf of African Ambassadors to Burkina Faso. In his welcome Remarks, Dr Ahmed ELMEKASS, AU SAFGRAD Coordinator, after  thanking the participants for their coming, has mentioned that the concerned region covered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is one of the eight building blocks of the African Economic Community. Most of the region is classified as arid and semi-arid lands.   It occupies a land area of about 5.2 million square kilometers with a population of 215.6 million. The average population growth rate in the region of 3.0% is one of the highest in the world. Almost 50% of the population is below 15 years of age. Similarly, 50% of the population in the IGAD region lives on less than one US Dollar per day. He also, said that  the value chain for strategic agricultural commodities is poorly developed in the region. The crops are produced by and large under low input low output systems .He added that this study will be as an entry point for further studies could be done in IGAD region. Moreover he said that, this study is part from AU-SAFGRAD programmes in 2014.

In his part, H.E. Abdelkrim BENCHIAH, Ambassador of Algeria to Burkina Faso, said that “ IGAD region, as one of the main African Regional Econonmic Communinauties, needs more efforts to increase crop production and reducing hunger. One of those efforts is highlighting the Strategic Agriculture commodities Value Chain”. Moreover, “the region needs more in-depht studies on the value chain of some strategic commodities such as Sorghum, Corn, Sesame, Cotton, Arabic Gum, Tea and Coffee which are representing the significant Commodities in the region” he added. As conclusion, the Algerian Ambassador thanked AU SAFGRAD for initiating this very important study.

After two days of intensive work sessions, the participants to the workshop have drafted and presented their report aiming at ameliorating the work conducted by the Consultant Dr Reda Fasil from Ethiopia. Among the recommendations, the need for AU SAFGRAD to conduct a stakeholder validation workshop and dessimination of the final report to key stakeholders and IGAD Member States.

This study is part from AU-SAFGRAD programmes in 2014. As African Union technical office for the promotion of Agricultural Research and Development within the Semi-arid zones in Africa, AU-SAFGRAD office is located since its creation in 1977 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The Office, re-institutionalized since 2003 in the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC-DREA), has facilitated the release of mature and extra mature verities; the training of 2500 African Scientists in the last 4 years as well as building the capacities of young researchers from 24 African member states. The Office has also produced and disseminated about 500 publication in different areas in Agriculture sector.  

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