Seeding ideas: EU Food Facility Steering Committee Meeting

On the morning of 26 May, the discussions of the First Steering Committee Meeting for the EU Food Facility Regional Programme for West Africa implemented by IFAD were opened by Mr Mohamed Béavogui Director of the West and Central Africa Division of the Programme Management Department of IFAD and Ms Katariina Bastos, Programme Manager for the Food Facility at the European Commission in Brussels.
The EU Food Facility (EU/FF) is a programme launched by the EU for 1 billion euro in response to the rise in food prices in 2008. IFAD, one of the implementing agencies of the EU/FF received a contribution of Euro 20 million which it is implementing through its ongoing projects in Senegal, Mali, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. A part of the Grant has also been attributed to ICRISAT and ECOWAS.
The topics of discussion by the participants (about 40 in total) from IFAD, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Benin, ICRISAT, the EU and ROPPA were among others the access to improved seeds, sensitization of actors to the use of improved seeds, inclusion of women and youth in activities and monitoring and evaluation..
During the course of the day, the debates have been dynamic and the participants are quite enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge. In fact, this Steering Committee Meetings is taking place at a critical moment in the implementation of the EU/FF as the rains have began recently and plating activities are in due course. The discussions, which sprung from each delegation’s presentation on their experiences of the EU/FF will allow the participants to identify solutions to common problems and possibly create new synergies in view of improving the implementation strategy for each of the of the EU/FF components in West Africa which is coming to an end this year.