2017 SFOAP supervision mission in Western Africa

The fourth IFAD supervision mission of the SFOAP main phase in Western Africa took place from 17th to 27th August 2017.

The mission particularly focused on assessing the progress of SFOAP activities and achievements in view of the closing of the program in December 2017, and exploring opportunities for collaboration with IFAD and donors’ country programmes and initiatives.

The team was composed of the SFOAP Analyst and Financial Management Consultant, and was accompanied by representatives from the Réseau des Organisations Paysannes et de Producteurs de l"Afrique de l'Ouest (ROPPA).

The mission spent 7 days in Burkina Faso, where consultations were held with ROPPA and the Confédération Paysanne du Faso (CPF), and a field mission was organized in the Province du Houet. The mission further travelled to Benin, where working sessions were held with the Plateforme Nationale des Organisations Paysannes et de Producteurs Agricoles du Bénin (PNOPPA).

Consultations with the European Union (EU) delegation in Benin and with the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC) office in Burkina Faso were also organized to foster a concrete partnership with Farmers’ Organizations (FOs) at country level. 

Overall, the mission highlighted that SFOAP activities led to important results, such as the mobilization of funds at the level of farmers for their economic initiatives, and the involvement of FOs in the formulation and implementation of agricultural policies. In particular, advocacy support activities funded by SFOAP have contributed to make FOs important players in the policy making arena. Ten out of the thirteen platforms in the network are fully involved in the process of developing second generation agricultural policies.

However, the mission also identified some issues in terms of program implementation, particularly relating to the delay with the implementation of Component 3 – Provision of Economic Services, compared to the other program components. This is why in 2018 the ROPPA and their members will concentrate efforts in the implementation and capitalization of economic initiatives supported under SFOAP. Also, the mission recommended ROPPA and national FOs to improve financial management, with a particular emphasis on the need to ensure a timely submission of financial reports.

In terms of the progress of activities under the different components, Component 1 – Institutional and organizational strengthening, supported ROPPA to organize meetings of FOs governing bodies in Benin, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo, and reinforce technical teams of the Secretariat of ROPPA and national FOs. Also, within the context of the Université Paysanne, a training was held in Thiès (Senegal) from 5 to 9 January 2017, with the participation of all the leaders of the 13 national platforms to improve the capacity of FOs to define strategies for improved participation and influence in the formulation and implementation of agricultural policies. Following this training, national FOs developed a roadmap for their participation in these processes.

Under Component 2 – Policy Engagement, following an extensive preparatory work by ROPPA and national FOs, particularly for data collection, the first edition of the report of the Observatory on Family Farming was finalized and published in English, French and Portuguese. The report contains key data and analysis on the monitoring of crop seasons, the dynamics internal to family farming, advisory support received by family farms, and the integration of family farming into policy formulation and implementation processes. The report has the potential to become an important tool for decision-making and strategic guidance for FOs at all levels.

Support to multi-stakeholder policy dialogue frameworks on agricultural policies was also provided with the organization of a regional meeting in April 2017 to reflect on the challenges related to climate change. The meeting enabled FOs to take stock of their policies and actions on climate change, and culminated with the establishment of a working group on climate issues within ROPPA.

Notwithstanding some delays experienced with the implementation of activities under Component 3 – Provision of Economic Services, some relevant results were also achieved under this component. In particular, in Burkina Faso, the CNIEP (Conseiller National aux Initiatives Economiques des Producteurs) successfully accompanied FOs in their negotiations with commercial banks. For example, the Fédération des Professionnels Agricole du Burkina (FEPAB) mobilized CFA 600 million (around EUR 915,000) for the supply of seeds; the Fédération des Eleveurs du Burkina (FEB) CFA 1 billion (around EUR 1.5 million) per year for 3 years for the supply of livestock to a government program, and the Union Nationale des Producteurs de Semences du Burkina (UNPSB) CFA 6 billion (EUR 9 million) for the supply of seeds.

The ROPPA further developed a program to strengthen and conserve the Azawak bovine breed, a local breed in the Sahelian Strip, and is in negotiations with the African Development Bank (AfDB) for financing their initiative.

Several activities were further conducted within the context of the Cadre Régionale de Concertation des Organisations de Producteurs de Riz (CRCOPR), including the development of a study on the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) and an advocacy note based on its findings. The note was presented to ECOWAS during an advocacy mission. The Chair of the CRCOPR also conducted a mission to IFAD Headquarters in Rome in May 2017 to meet with the Regional Division of West and Central Africa and discuss about partnership between IFAD country initiatives in the region and national rice platforms. Opportunities to be exploited were found in Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria, particularly in the field of integration of young people and women in value chains.

Please consult the full report from the mission by downloading the document below.


Photo credit: Antonella Cianciotta

from 17/08/2017 to 27/08/2017
Thematic Areas: Access to Services, Capacity Building, Knowledge Management, Markets and Value chains, Monitoring and Evaluation, Policy Dialogue
Region: West Africa