In order to increase agroecology training capacity in member nations, the Economic Community of West African nations has signed funding agreements totalling 1.3 million euros with 15 training institutes.
The capacity-building programme is a component of the ECOWAS Agroecology Programme, which is being implemented with co-funding from the French Development Agency and the European Union.
The grant agreements received funding from the European Union totaled 1,320,784.43 euros, or around 88,000 euros per centre, over an average period of 18 months, with the goal of educating 12,000 young people in the area.
According to the statement signed by the president of the commission, Dr Omar Alieu Touray, 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 a resilient rural society.
The 15 training centres, which were selected following due consultation and assessment process, represent one per member state. It covers the 15 ECOWAS member states and is scheduled to end in 2024.
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.
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They are the Support Project for Agroecological Transition in West Africa, and the Support Project for the Dissemination and Implementation of Good Practices for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification.
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.
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