WAAPP – Sierra Leone Participates in five days Regional Information and Exchange workshop in Dakar
A five man delegation from Sierra Leone sponsored by the West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP), on Sunday 23rd September left the country to participate in a five day Sub Regional Information and exchange Workshop on ECOWAS seeds, seedlings and pesticides regulations implementation in Dakar, Republic of Senegal. The delegation which comprised the Deputy Project Coordinator WAAPP – Sierra Leone, Mr. Sulaiman Sesay, Edward Gbapie, National Coordinator Seed Multiplication Program MAFFS, Honourable Ibrahim Sorie, Chairman Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture in parliament, Dr. Ibrahim M.O Shamie, Deputy Director of Crops MAFFS and Kattingu James Charles; Entomologist and crop protection Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute, will learn about two regulations within the ECOWAS regional policies which were adopted by member states in May 2008. (Photo: Mr. Suliaman Sesay: Deputy Project Coordinator of WAAPP-SL, One of the Participants )
The objective of the workshop is to enhance and facilitate the implementation of ECOWAS regulations on seeds, pesticides and plants in member states. It is expected that by the end of the workshop, participants who are drawn from ECOWAS member states and whose governments are signatories to these regulations, will have increased knowledge on procedures for implementing the regulations on seeds, seedling and improved pesticides, identify constraints on implementation of the regulations and develop Action Plans for the implementation of ECOWAS regulations on seed which could be unanimously adopted.
Regulations C/REG. of 4th May 2008 looks on harmonizing the rules governing quality control, certification and marketing of vegetable seedlings in the ECOWAS sub region while regulation C/REG. of 3rd May 2008 looks on harmonizing the rules governing the registration of pesticides in the sub region.
These regulations seek to facilitate the sale of agricultural inputs amongst member states through the implementation of agreed principles and rules that minimize trade barriers, facilitate farmer’s access to quality inputs at an appropriate time and place and also create an enabling environment to private investment.
There are weaknesses and differences in the harmonization of these regulations in the various ECOWAS countries. While some countries have adopted new laws and regulations developed on the basis of the legislation of the ECOWAS community, others believe that national laws are not necessary for the implementation of these regional legislation.
Institutions that manage and implement these regulations are either weak or non functional in some of these countries. Therefore, the Western and Central African Council for Research and Development (CORAF) within the framework of the West African Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) decided to organize this workshop so that stakeholders involved in the various countries will chat a new way forward. Sierra Leone is currently implementing the third series of the first phase of the WAAPP 1 C project which is geared towards promoting growth in the production of high priority agricultural commodities in West Africa. For Sierra Leone, it is rice and Cassava which are the country’s primary staples.
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