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Food Insecurity Looms In West Africa



ECOWAS President, Jean Claude Kasi Brou has called on member states to anticipate climatic changes by setting up climate resilient policies in the areas of agriculture for food security.

He also called for the close cooperation of member states to combat the looming food crisis in the sub-region. “Based on our consultations with national authorities, and the FAO, food crisis is looming in the Sahel region,” warned Kasi Brou.

Climatic changes and insecurity are aggravating food insecurity in the ECOWAS sub-region. Community reports from the region showed that three member states recorded low rainfall and low cereal production.

The Gambia recorded low cereal productions at -29.7 per cent, Burkina Faso at -11.03 per cent, and Guinea Bissau at -7.01 per cent while Cape Verde recorded zero cereal production in 2017.

Cape Verde’s zero cereal production is attributed to the lack of rainfall in the country in the past two years. Mali, on the other hand, while battling terrorism and insecurity in the country is heading towards food insecurity with the additional low amount of rainfall witnessed in the country last year.

Addressing members of the ECOWAS parliament, at the ongoing First Ordinary Session, Kasi Brou said food crisis and insecurity are all connected to climate change. He said the climatic changes are responsible for the imminent food crisis looming in the sub-region, particularly in the Sahel. Climate change, he also added is closely related to the issues of herdsmen and farmers conflict.

“Food crisis is related to climate changes, due to difficulty in rainfall, so we have to be able to do two things. First, we have to react, when these things happen because food security affects the weakest – women and children.

“Secondly, we need to anticipate it, to ensure that our countries are climate resilient. How prepared are we to resist effects of climate change, so the impacts don’t affect the people? This is related to all the policies that need to be put in place in terms of agriculture, food security.

“We have less and less land, and we need to modernise agriculture and grazing activities to deal with these situations while maintaining economic and social activities,” the president concluded.