Aid For Agriculture: Turning promises into reality co-ordinating donor interventions in three west African countries
Since the beginning of the 1980s, the agricultural sector has gradually dropped down the list of priorities for state development aid in West Africa, as well as that of national policies. At the same time, more people in the region are going hungry, due in part to the recent hike in food prices. In Burkina Faso, Niger and Ghana the vast majority of the population is rural and depends on agriculture, which is both the main means of reducing poverty and to ensure better food security at national level. A year and a half after the High-Level Conference on World Food Security organised by the FAO in Rome, this study attempts to put forward an initial review of the commitments made by the international community, in terms of funding, co-ordination of interventions on the ground and support to national agricultural policies and programmes. Based on the reality on the ground in three West African countries: Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Niger, this research does not claim to present an exhaustive overview of whether financial pledges; co-ordination of interventions; and support to national strategies have become a reality on the ground or not. But by giving concrete examples, it presents the major challenges and stakes that will determine the future development of the agricultural sector in the three countries studied.