CORAF to Build the Resilience of West Africa Food System’s Productive Base Through the FSRP

  • CORAF will lead a series of actions aimed at strengthening West Africa’s national and regional agricultural research systems and innovating in landscape management, under the new World Bank-funded Food Systems Resilience Program (FSRP)
  • Some 4.35 million people across West Africa are expected to benefit from the program in its first two phases
  • CORAF is implementing the FSRP, alongside the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which lead other components

Thanks to a new multi-phase regional program funded by the World Bank, CORAF will help the West African food system address the challenges of food insecurity and sustainably provide sufficient, affordable, and nutritious food to the people across West Africa.

Referred to as the Food Systems Resilience Program (FSRP), the overall goal of the intervention is to increase agricultural productivity leveraging climate-smart agriculture, promote value chains and intra-regional trade, and build regional capacity for agricultural risk management.

The FSRP is structured around five components:

  1. The strengthening of digital advisory services for the prevention and management of regional agricultural and food crises;
  2. The sustainability and adaptability of the productive basis of the food system;
  3. The integration of regional food markets and trade;
  4. An emergency response component; and 
  5. The management of the program.

CORAF ensures the regional coordination of the second component of the FSRP, which aims at improving the resilience of the productive base of the food system and directly contributing to the Great Green Wall (GMW), African Union’s flagship initiative to combat the effects of climate change and desertification in Africa.

“Under the FSRP’s Component 2, CORAF will work to make the West Africa food system productive base more resilient to current and future agricultural shocks and challenges,” says Professor Nieyidouba Lamien, FSRP Manager at the CORAF.

“West Africa food systems have suffered shocks with devastating effects in recent years, the most recent of which are the Ebola outbreak and the COVID 19 pandemic. The FSRP is an innovative program that will enable henceforth, not only to better cope with such shocks, but also to better prepare to anticipate these shocks and their effects on the populations,” he underlines.

Specifically, CORAF will implement activities that will contribute to strengthening national and regional agricultural research systems and innovating in landscape management, including inclusive multi-sectoral policies and regulations to avoid, reduce and reverse land degradation on the one hand, and on the other hand, to the establishment of landscape units under integrated management capable of sustainably achieving multiple objectives, namely food production, provision of eco-system services, protection of biodiversity, and improvement of local livelihoods.

Funded by the World Bank to the tune of $570 million, the FSRP is expected to benefit some 4.35 million people across West Africa, particularly in its first two phases.

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The first component is under the leadership of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) whereas the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is coordinating the third and fifth components.

The three regional organizations implementing the program launched it last June in Lomé, Togo, at an official ceremony that brought together stakeholders from regional organizations, member States, development partners, universities, and civil society.

Direct beneficiaries of the PRSP include farmers, youth, small-scale producers and processors, and small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises. The program aims to reach at least 40% of women.

With its lofty components, the FSRP intends to play a key role in addressing food security challenges in West Africa, having a real impact on populations and spurring sustainable economic growth”

Professor Nieyidouba Lamien, FSRP Manager at CORAF.

The first phase of the program covers the period 2022-2026 and will be jointly implemented by the three regional organizations —CORAF, CILSS, ECOWAS— in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Togo. 

The second phase is expected to include Chad, Ghana and Sierra Leone.