In pursuit of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the Africa Union’s (AU) New Partnerships for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has called for three percent annual agricultural total factor productivity growth and six percent growth in agricultural GDP to reach the MDGs by 2015. In response to this, the World Bank designed the African Action Plan (AAP) as a centerpiece of its strategy to help Africa and its regional groups such as ECOWAS reach the MDGs. ECOWAS in response to the AAP formulated the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) as the implementing instrument for achieving the objectives of increased agricultural productivity and sustainability and to support regional integration.
The West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme (WAAPP) is a two-phase, 10-year Adaptable Program, each of five years duration.The first phase of WAAPP involves three countries – Ghana, Mali and Senegal.
The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD/CORAF) is the sub-regional co-ordinating institution. The WAAPP will concentrate on selected priority commodities. The priority commodities, which were identified through a study WECARD/CORAF commissioned the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) to do in 2006, are roots and tubers, livestock, rice and cereals.
The specific country commodities under WAAPP are as follows: roots and tubers for Ghana; rice for Mali; and drought-tolerant cereals for Senegal. These commodities are expected to make the greatest contribution to the region’s agricultural growth and producers’ benefit from research and development.
The development objective of WAAPP is to generate and disseminate improved technologies in the participating country’s top priority commodity sub-sector that are aligned with regional priorities.