Strategic Area 2: Promoting contractual, inclusive and competitive agricultural and agri-food value chains geared towards regional and international demand, with a view of integrating the regional market.

This area focuses on the organization and structuring of regional value chains of strategic agricultural and food products, from the collection and marketing of products right from the farmers' organizations down to distribution. It includes institutional and technological issues, quality, standards and traceability, the promotion of regional products, financing of economic agents, functioning of regional markets and the management of regional and international markets interface, both for export and import (see below for cross-sectoral dimensions). Unlike the 1st generation Regional Agricultural Investment Program (RAIP), the 2025 Strategic Orientation Framework includes the export sectors around which several countries choose to cooperate, both at the technical level (research, upgrading, etc.), and joint investment in product processing and valorization, and finally in specific international negotiations (the case of cotton in the WTO).

This strategic area is fundamental in the sense that it must accelerate the adaptation of agricultural and food supply to a rapidly changing demand due to population growth, urbanization, income differentiation and changes in dietary practices induced by these last two factors. Area 1 oriented towards the production dimension, is completed by Area 2 centered on product processing, storage, preservation, packaging and distribution. According to ECOWAS, it is in this domain that private sector investments should focus. It is also an area that requires appropriate instruments for financing investments and current activity, as well as a regulatory, legal and institutional framework conducive to long-term investment.

There are multiple approaches to organization and structuring of sectors based on different models. ECOWAS promotes approaches based on a few principles:

• Build the Capacities of different categories of actors for them to be able to negotiate with other economic agents in the value chain;

• Contractualize relationship between producers, their economic organizations and other agents upstream and downstream the production, within a clear, inclusive and efficient institutional arrangements framework;

• Fairness and predictability of contracts within the value chain;

• Encouraging the installation / modernization of craft enterprises, SMEs and SMIs that combine high employment content and adapted technologies.

As part of the RAIP- FSN (PRIASAN), agri-food chains will be particularly and strategically defined for women and their economic status, and they will benefit from specific support.