By Temitope Ponle
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) signed grant agreements worth 1.3 million euros with 15 training centres to build capacity on agroecology in member states.
In a statement on the website of the ECOWAS, President of the commission, Dr Omar Alieu Touray, signed the grant agreements.
The capacity building programme is part of the implementation of the ECOWAS Agroecology Programme co-funded by the European Union and the French Development Agency.
The total budget of the grant agreements funded by the European Union was 1,320,784.43 euros, representing about 88,000 euros per centre, and for an average duration of 18 months, aimed at training 12,000 young persons in the region.
According to the statement, 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.
This is with the general objective of building the human resource and environmentally friendly system expected to 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.
Also, in supporting the centres through the agreements, ECOWAS seeks to improve the quality of training and the development of the centres’ capacities.
The quality of training would be on topical issues related to agroecology, and to increase the annual number of people trained.
The total target of the programme is about 12,000 young people, including men and women trained by 2024 in agroecology in the region.
One of the objectives of the support is to contribute to strengthening the training capacities of the centres to promote quality training systems.
Another objective is the increase in the number of young people trained, in particular rural people, and facilitating their connection with support organisations or partners.
This is for possible financing in the scaling up of agroecological practices.
It is, however, composed of two projects.
They are the Support Project for Agroecological Transition in West Africa (PATAE), and the Support Project for the Dissemination and Implementation of Good Practices for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (PAIAD).
With a total budget of 16.2 million euros, PATAE is funded by the French Development Agency at eight million euros, and PAIAD is funded by the European Union at 8.2 million euros.
It covers the 15 ECOWAS member states and is scheduled to end in 2024. (NAN)