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March 03, 2008

SADC, ECOWAS to share notes on agricultural policy

A delegation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) arrives in Nigeria for the ECOWAS Commission on Monday, 3rd March 2008 to undertake a study of the ECOWAS Common Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP).

Regional leaders approved ECOWAP in 2005 as a mechanism for the coordinated development of agriculture in the region. It targets three major areas of intervention with the objective of boosting production, improving food availability, enhancing the competitiveness of regional agriculture, integrating markets for agricultural products and improving access of regional farmers to the international market.

The 14-member SADC is in the process of developing a similar policy for countries in its region. The visit of the four-member delegation will therefore enable the delegation to learn from the ECOWAS experience in the implementation of the policy.

Officials of the ECOWAS Department of Agriculture will brief the delegation, which also includes a consultant from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) that recommended ECOWAP to the SADC during the visit. They will then meet with key officials, including the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

During the four-day tour, they will also visit two big farms in Nigeria, including that of the former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

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