ECOAGRIS is an acronym that stands for « ECOWAS Agriculture Regional Information System ». It has been designed to be a dynamic tool for the monitoring of the ECOWAP/PDDAA agricultural policy of West Africa.The information system called ECOAGRIS is a component of the global program on the establishment and the operationalization of the food security regional reserve for West Africa. Therefore, the objective of this component is to improve the regular production of relevant information on regional food security in order to facilitate decision-making. Also, the goal of ECOAGRIS is to enable decision-makers in the region to have and use updated and reliable data and analyses for a good formulation and a better monitoring of agricultural development policies and strategies. Finally, this mechanism aims to better manage food security issues in the region. ECOAGRIS can also be considered as a promotion tool for trade between all stakeholders (public and private) of the agricultural area of the community. It is therefore an instrument at the service of the West African region based on a reliable data source and indicators to strengthen analyses and interventions capacities of regional public and private stakeholders of the agricultural and agro-food sector.
Following the adoption of the ECOWAP/PDDAA in January 2005 and in view of the weaknesses in the existing information systems in countries, ECOWAS has decided, in collaboration with the partner institutions, to set up an integrated information system on the agricultural sector called “ECOAGRIS”. The goal of ECOAGRIS is to permit decision-makers to have and use reliable data, information and analyses for: (i) the formulation and monitoring of agricultural development policies and strategies, and (ii) better manage food security issues in West Africa and (iii) promote agro-food trade.
The pilot phase of ECOAGRIS (October 2010 - August 2013) was implemented through the EU-IFAD-ECOWAS Food Facility Program. This program received funding from the European Union in December 2008. This first phase involved seven (7) countries in West Africa: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger and Senegal.The extension of the ECOAGRIS system to all 17 countries in the Sahel and West Africa is part of the 10th EDF Regional Program "Regional Food Security Reserve" with the financial support of the European Union for a total amount of 56 million euros. The main objective of this regional program is to help address efficiently food crises and strengthen household resilience in a perspective of sustainable regional food security and sovereignty, by promoting emergency food reserve systems at different geographical scales. The component IV of this program is part of a regional integration process incorporating in particular (i) the joint agricultural implementation in the CILSS-ECOWAS area (ii) the development of regional food security reserve (physical stock and financial tightness).
The overall objective is to strengthen information systems at different local, national and regional scales to address information needs for food and nutrition monitoring, vulnerability analysis, decision support in order to anticipate food and nutrition crises and to select and target interventions.The objective is broken down into two specific objectives which are: Specific objective 1: Strengthening national and regional information systems on food and nutrition security. Specific Objective 2: Improving the quality of decision support information to better address food and nutrition crises in the CILSS/ECOWAS region.
Specifically, the main results (components) from this action are:
Result 1.1: the ECOAGRIS mechanism is established and operational at national and regional level.Result 1.2: information systems on food and nutrition situation and household vulnerability are strengthened at national and regional level.
Result 2.1: National and regional information and monitoring mechanisms on stock level are established and operational.
Result 2.2: The Cadre Harmonisé for the analysis of food and nutrition security is strengthened at national and regional level
The 17 Member States of the ECOWAS and CILSS region (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Cape Verde, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone , Chad, Togo), the ECOWAS Commission, the WAEMU Commission and CILSS.
- Ministries and national services in charge of food and nutrition crisis management.
- National data collection and analysis services on food security in West Africa: Agricultural Statistics (including livestock, fisheries, etc.), EWS and MIS (Market Information Systems) in particular, and their networks such as RESIMAO. For these first two groups, it will be necessary to provide them with reliable collection and analysis tools for the production of relevant information to help better decision-making.
- Farmers' organizations, NGOs networks and civil society (ROPPA, APESS, RBM, AFEX, ACA, COFENABVI, Regional alliances in the input sector: seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, etc. ...). These stakeholders need capacity building to ensure the dissemination of reliable information, training of their members and advocacy with the public authorities. The ECOAGRIS mechanism will provide essential support to these stakeholders.
The end beneficiaries are mainly:
- ECOWAS member States, CILSS and UEMOA for decision-making.
- Regional Economic Communities (ECOWAS, UEMOA) for decision-making.
- International Funding and Technical Cooperation Organizations for Decision-making.
- Rural people, including the most vulnerable (women, young people, small farmers, pastoralists in dry areas) whose livelihoods depend on natural resources and are subject to food problems. They can be supported through response plans that more specifically identify vulnerable populations and improve their resilience to crises.
- Field workers (NGOs, farmers' organizations), national technical services, and local authorities. ECOAGRIS will provide them with the information they need to formulate their projects and programs.
- Private operators (service providers, economic operators) who will have reference data to take advantage of the different opportunities available to them in the agricultural development sector.