A blueprint for strengthening food system resilience in West Africa: regional priority intervention areas

Over the last decade, the combined impact of multiple drivers and shocks including food demand growth, stagnant crop yields, climate change, rising insecurity, and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in worsening food and nutrition insecurity across West Africa. Despite this alarming trend, the region's diverse agriculture and food sector has the potential to provide West Africans with sufficient, affordable, and nutritious food while contributing to inclusive growth and poverty reduction. The report begins by providing an overview of key trends and developments shaping current food system outcomes before identifying and examining three interconnected priority areas for simultaneous intervention at regional level: i) Strengthening the Sustainability of the Food System’s Productive Base: Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) at Farm and Landscape Level; ii) Promoting an Enabling Environment for Intraregional Value Chain Development and Trade Facilitation; and iii) Enhancing Regional Risk Management Architecture and Farmer Decision Support Tools. By proposing a set of implementation-ready regional flagship initiatives for each intervention area, the report supports a broad range of development partners and other actors in formulating policies and designing upcoming investment projects. Regional flagship initiatives proposed in the report include inter alia accelerating the evolution of the regional agricultural research system; promoting cross-border food value-chains through investments in food safety, quality control, and traceability systems; and upgrading early-warning and food crisis prevention systems by using digital technology.