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Côte d’Ivoire: The West African Seed Programme (WASP) launched in Abidjan

WASP FamilyThe West Africa Seed Programme (WASP) is a new programme implemented by CORAF/WECARD with financial support of USAID. This programme aims to contribute to the achievement of the 6% annual growth in the agricultural sector by 2015, as defined by the CAADP. It participated in the implementation of CAADP pillar 4 related to the improvement of agricultural research and technology adoption and dissemination of which implementation CORAF/WECARD is responsible for in West and Central Africa.

The programme was launched during a workshop organized in Abidjan on 13th and 14th September, 2012. Among the participants were the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the financial partners, the agricultural research institutions, the intergovernmental organizations, NGOs, farmer organizations, universities, the private sector, the national seed industries, but also the representatives of Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Agriculture, USAID-West Africa, ECOWAS and an important delegation of CORAF/WECARD’s Executive Secretariat led by its Executive Director.

USAID committed to fund the programme up to 9 million US dollars for the 2012 – 2017 period. The stated objective of this funding is to facilitate a 12% to 25% increase of available quality seeds in the subregion. The approach adopted consists in involving as much as possible all the partners working in the seed sector. And the expertise of the CGIAR, the NARS through all its components: Universities, NGOs, Private Firms and Subregional and International Organizations, was mobilized.

The programme aims to achieve the following results in the short term: the implementation and operationalization of a consortium of the seed sector stakeholders in West Africa; the implementation of the national and regional regulations that facilitate the development of the seed system; the production, the provision and the use of sufficient quantities of pre-base, base and certified seeds to meet the demand in seeds; the strengthening of the private sector’ participation in the seed industry; and the improvement the national associations’ capacity to trade seeds. In the long term, the improvement of rural households’ incomes, the increase in target crops’ average yields and the creation of an environment conducive to the good functioning of the private sector in the seed sector.

The exchanges, both in plenary or in group, facilitated the appropriation of the programme by the stakeholders; a better understanding of the concept of the programme and the definition of the elements for the improvement of the programme.