Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Ministers of Trade, Agriculture and Finance discussed the soaring cost of basic food items in West Africa

Representatives of eight international organizations involved in agricultural development and water resource management were invited to a one-day extraordinary meeting on Monday 19th of May of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ministers of Trade, Agriculture and Finance to discuss the soaring cost of basic food items in West Africa.

Among those invited to the ministerial meeting were the President of the Rome-based International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Nigeria-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Also invited to the meeting was the President of the Commission responsible for Agriculture, Environment and Development in the ECOWAS Parliament as well as the Ministers responsible for Finance, Agriculture and Trade in Mauritania. The one-day meeting discussed the various options and propose solutions for mitigating the effect of the spiralling prices on the region's population.

At the opening ceremony, ECOWAS Commission President Mohamed Ibn Chambas said the current food crisis should act as an incentive to ECOWAS member countries to imlement the common agricultural policy.