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May 30, 2012

$120m World Bank Facility for Ghana, Senegal

Mr. Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in Africa has announced that, World Bank has approved $120 million for the second phase of the West African Agricultural Productivity Programme, to improve food production in Ghana and Senegal.

He said the programme will be carried out through the spread of new agricultural technologies and technology exchange programme, aligning national priorities with regional ones to increase regional cooperation in food technology and supporting a greater push for technology adoption and dissemination.

Mr. Saghir disclosed this in Washington, US and adding that the Bank’s support is a resolved approach to make agriculture sustainable in West Africa.

He stated that with the population expected to increase from 300 million in 2011 to 500 million in 2030, West Africa is faced with the challenge of satisfying the rapidly growing food demand.

He said “it is possible to increase production of key commodities which represent the basis of the West African Food security system, adding that adopting new and improved crop management practices can increase cereal crops by 30 percent”.

Mr. Saghir mentioned that irrigated rice systems can benefit from yield, increased by nearly 50 percent, whilst cassava yield can be raised by more than 40 percent.

He said regional production covered 80 percent of the population’s food needs in ECOWAS with 20 percent of its imports being food products.

Mr. Saghir said intra-regional agricultural trade was limited and its share of the total world agricultural trade marginal.

Source: ISD