Strategic Area 4 : Improving business environment, governance and financing mechanisms of the agriculture and agri-food sector

This strategic area covers the cross-cutting dimensions of RAIP- FSN (PRIASAN) which cut across many of the first three strategic areas. These are particularly issues related to the financing of agriculture dealt with holistically in this strategic area, the creation of a regulatory environment and, more broadly, a conducive business environment for private sector investment, upscaling of information systems, development of capacities for public institutions and professional organizations, and civil society, the impetus and the carrying of new initiatives in compliance with priorities set by the Ministers of Agriculture in November 2015 (Installation of young people, promotion of local milk sectors, rice offensive, and promotion of employment).

As part of the implementation of CAADP, the issue of financing focused on increasing the budgetary resources allocated by States to the agricultural sector, with 10% of public expenditure allocated to agriculture (Maputo Commitment). These national resources had to be supplemented by contributions from donors and the private sector. It was mainly to finance investment costs and different programs of NAIPs and RAIP.

This approach has lightly taken into account the issue of financial services meeting the structural financing needs of the activity of economic agents in the sector namely:  producers, processors, storage companies, etc. However, in West Africa, as elsewhere in the world, every farmer and each economic agent of the value chains, each supplier of inputs or equipment must have, in front of him, adequate and competitive banking and financial services, provided by institutions whose business it is, and which allow them to conduct their business in normal conditions and to invest: schematically, they need capital (depreciable over several campaigns) and cash to finance the production cycle.

The massive transformation of the agro-forestry-pastoral and fisheries sector implies modernization and investments in increasing productivity of a large majority of family farmings. Similarly, the development of value chains to market food products that meet the expectations of consumers implies a modernization of links along production: modernization of individual businesses, SMEs and SMIs, or even development of agro-industries. In any case, the issue of financial services and risk management are at the core center of this transformation strategy. The latter imposes a strong coherence between the financing of the public services and the orientations retained by the State and the stakeholders, and the financing of economic activities of the agents of the sector.

This strategic area also includes ECOWAP / CAADP and RAIP-FSN (PRIASAN) piloting mechanism, implementation, monitoring and evaluation coupled with mutual accountability mechanism, the PRIASAN funding mechanism, institutional capacity building and training of human resources of the various stakeholders of the implementation of ECOWAP, the development of information and decision support systems. Coordination is one of the key issues and covers many areas such as: (i) coordination between Member States on coherence and complementarities of their approaches and priorities; (ii) inter-institutional coordination (ECOWAS, UEMOA, CILSS, CORAF, etc.); (iii) inter-departmental coordination within the ECOWAS Commission to inform and arbitrate on cross-cutting issues; (iv) coordination of external support with ECOWAP Donor's Group, etc.