The 3rd Steering Committee Meeting for the regional plan of monitoring and controlling Fruit Flies got underway at the ECOWAS Commission on the 26th of July 2017.
The two-Day project support meeting was called to update officials, experts and participants on the implementation process of the project.
The project focusses on the comprehensive control of the problem of fruit flies in the region with regards to parasites which attack the region’s agricultural products such as Mango. The pests have been reported to have moved from the Indian Ocean and is now ravaging parts of West Africa creating a problem for the region’s mango economy, among others.
Opening the meeting, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment & Water Resources Mr. Tchambakou Ayassor drew attention to the quality control problems that exports from the region is currently facing on account of the damage done by fruit flies.
The Commissioner listed the two main components of the project to include the surveillance of the Flies population in all areas that are covered as well as the control process which include treatment. This is backed by training of farmers and all those who are involved in addition to requisite research in aid of the project’s success.
Commissioner Ayassor charged participants to come up with a valuable report stressing that he was confident that the objectives of the project will be met when it ends in 2019.
The project is being supported by the French Agency for Development (AFD) and the European Union (EU).
Corroborating the basic submissions of the AFD Country Director Mr. Olivier Delefosse, the Head of Cooperation of the EU Mr. Kurt Cornelis assured all the stakeholders of the EU’s commitment to support the project just as it is fully cooperating with the AFD and ECOWAS for its successful implementation.
According to him, the collaboration on Fruit Flies is also meant to improve the income of fruit and vegetable producers in support of the region’s food security objectives and poverty reduction drive.
During the Meeting, activity and financial reports were presented. Consideration was also given to the identified challenges which were highlighted.
Participants at the meeting included pest control and fruit production experts, representatives of AFD, EU and other development partners as well as officials of the ECOWAS Commission.
The last Steering Committee support project meeting was held in Lome, Togo in 2006.
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