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ECOWAS signs €1.3 Million grant agreement

As part of the implementation of the ECOWAS Agroecology Programme co-funded by the European Union and the French Development Agency, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, H.E. Dr. Omar Alieu Touray signed grant agreements with 15 training Centres to build capacity on Agroecology in Member States. The total budget of the grant agreements funded by the European Union is €1,320,784.43 representing about €88,000 per centre and for an average duration of 18 months aimed at training 12,000 young persons in the Region.  

The purpose of each grant is to establish the framework of collaboration between ECOWAS and the recipient Centre for the implementation of the Programme activities in West Africa with the general objective of building the human resource and environmentally friendly system that will sustain and increase agricultural productivity and create resilient rural society. Selected following due consultation and assessment process, the 15 training centres represent one per Member State. 

In supporting the centres through the agreements, ECOWAS seeks to improve the quality of training and the development of the centres capacities on topical issues related to agroecology and to increase the annual number of people trained in agroecology. The total target of the Programme is about 12000 young people including men and women trained by 2024 in agroecology in the region.  

More specifically, the objective of the support is to contribute to strengthening the training capacities of the centres in (i) the promotion of quality training systems integrating application of theoretical and practical lessons on agroecological techniques and good practices according to the environment, (ii) the increase in the number of young people trained, in particular rural people, and (iii) their networking in the long term, (iv) facilitating their connection with support organisations/partners for possible financing in the scaling up of agroecological practices. 

ECOWAS support to training centres falls within the objective of the Programme to facilitate networking and dissemination of pilot experiences and promising approaches in agroecology (with the Songhai Centre in Benin and the CIDAP Centre in Togo as reference centres) in other countries of the sub-region, particularly in the Sahel. 

To recall, the ECOWAS Agroecology Programme aims to stimulate the development of innovative practices that optimise the mobilisation of ecological processes in the field of agro-sylvo-pastoral and fisheries production in the ECOWAS zone by supporting family farms towards an agroecological transition that enables them to reconcile economic performance, food security, environmental preservation, and the health of the population. 

With a total budget of 16.2 million euros, it is composed of two projects, namely the Support Project for Agroecological Transition in West Africa (PATAE), funded by the French Development Agency (FDA) at 8 million euros and the Support Project for the Dissemination and Implementation of Good Practices for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (PAIAD) funded by the European Union at 8.2 million euros. It covers the 15 ECOWAS Member States and is scheduled to end in 2024. 

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