Climate Change: World Bank pushes for smart technologies
23 February 2018 | Mitigation
The World Bank is to support Nigeria and other members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on the uptake of climate-smart technologies.
The bank has introduced a new initiative, West Africa Agricultural Transformation Programme (WAATP), which it will solely fund to this effect. The funding will run into millions of dollars.
Beneficiary countries of the initiative, such as Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, will be able to increase productivity and incomes through responsible farming without damaging the environment.
To ensure success, the bank is working with the West and Central Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF) and ECOWAS to scale up the adoption of climate-smart technologies, enhance job creation and increase access to regional markets for targeted commodities.
According to CORAF, WAATP seeks to transform the agriculture industry sustainably by scaling up replicable innovations and crop varieties using ICT tools and geo-mapping.
Under the programme, CORAF said the geographical scope of coverage would extend to Central Africa with Cameroon among benefitting countries. Chad and other Central African nations could potentially join.
CORAF Executive Director Dr. Abdou Tenkouano said: “This programme has assigned itself very ambitious targets because West and Central deserve that. Among the beneficiaries, at least 40 percent must be women. The technologies disseminated have to be linked to critical areas such as climate-smart agriculture, nutrition, mechanisation, and processing. And it will be judged on the number of permanent and seasonal jobs it creates.”
WAATP will focus on five mutually-reinforcing components: strengthening the new model for innovation development in West Africa, accelerating large-scale adoption of improved technologies and innovations, policies, markets, and institutional strengthening, contingent emergency response and project management, learning, monitoring and evaluation.
WAATP will take over from West African Agriculture Productivity Programme (WAAPP), which was launched in 2008 and assigned the mission to boost productivity, reduce hunger, improve nutrition, create jobs, and support collaboration across borders.
In 2016, the World Bank rated the WAAPP as the second-best project it funded in Africa.
“This rating is not only an acknowledgment of the effective management of the program across the West Africa region, but it is also recognition of the development outcomes achieved by the programme,” Tenkouano said.
“Despite the progress made, agricultural productivity in the West and Central Africa sub-regions still lags behind the rest of the world,” said Dr. Niéyidouba Lamien, WAAPP Regional program coordinator.
“Focus has to go beyond productivity to address the overall issue of enhancing the food system to address the demand of an increasing population, address youth unemployment, climate change, migration, gender, and nutrition.”
ECOWAS collaboration with WAAPP led to improvement in agricultural production and increased food security in member states.
Source: The Nation