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ATP project gathers synergy

By Daniel Nonor - Ghanaian Chronicle
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The Extended Agribusiness and Trade Promotion (ATP) yesterday began a two day regional workshop in Accra to gather synergy to promote intra-regional agricultural trade in West Africa to support food security in the region.

The Extended Agribusiness and Trade Promotion (ATP) is a three- year regional initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Its major objective is to increase the value chain and volume on intra-regional agriculture trade.

The project focuses on three value chains –poultry, rice and millet/sorghum- and their associated activities along the major commercial corridors linking Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo Cote d'Ivoire, and Nigeria.

Ismael Ouedrao ATP's Chief of party told The Chronicle that the initiative is to among other things promote free-trade market principles throughout the region; improve the efficiency and coherence of value chains through more efficient commercial relations, acess to markets, finance and other supporting services. The workshop brought together stakeholders from both the public and private sector

Ismael Ouedrao explained that the projects take into consideration six value chains to develop, enhance and contribute to food security, regional integration and economic growth in the region. The two projects will end in 2012 covering the eight countries.

He emphasized that the project will consider different components such as addressing the issue of regional barriers, road harassment and what could be done to reduce these hurdles so that products which are perishable do not suffer delays to advance the objective of the project. To achieve this, He noted that drivers will also be educated to know their rights and responsibilities as they transport goods and services.

Major outcomes of the project include a significant reduction of the incidence of physical and policy-related barriers to moving agricultural and related commodities regionally in West Africa, with a special focus on facilitating the trade in staple foods from surplus to deficit areas; and ensure more effective advocacy by regional private sector and other non-governmental actors for regional and national policies in support of a conducive environment for increased regional agricultural trade.

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