Regional Livestock Forum
29 January - 4 February 2009
How could the potential of the livestock sector be optimised in order to strengthen the regional market, ensure food security and reduce poverty?
West African livestock experts met for an exchange of views and identified policy recommendations which were approved by ECOWAS Minsters.
Livestock plays a key role in the economy of West African countries with a contribution to agricultural GDP that at times can reach 44%. With more than 60 million heads of cattle and 160 small ruminants and 400 million poultry, the Sahel and West Africa is an exceptional livestock region. In numbers, and compared with total livestock within Sub-Saharan Africa, this region accounts for 25% of cattle, 33% of sheep, and 40% of goats.
However, this animal production potential is still rarely optimised and the region continues to import great quantities of animal products to meet the needs of the population. This concern was the basis for an initiative carried out by the SWAC and its partners on: “The Future of Livestock: Potentials and Challenges to Strengthen the Regional Market.” >> learn more
Drawing on discussions with livestock professionals and experts, participants prepared draft guidelines which were adopted by ECOWAS ministers. Recommendations shall be transformed into an Action Plan by 2010 in the framework of the ECOWAS Common Agricultural Policy. In particular, these proposals intend to promote and intensify intra-regional trade, improve food security and strengthen the organisation of the livestock chain. > download the final communique
The Regional Livestock Forum brought together various livestock professionals (livestock professional organisations; private suppliers of livestock services; trade actors: processors, merchants, etc.) from ECOWAS member countries, Chad and Mauritania. International development partners (FAO, IFAD, etc.) research institutes and other livestock experts also participated in this event.
The Forum was organised by ECOWAS and the SWAC, in collaboration with the CILSS, UEMOA and Roppa, within the framework of the joint initaitive on "The Future of the Livestock".