Poverty reduction is at the heart of efforts deployed by the West African Development Bank (BOAD) to help its member countries bring about a sustainable and inclusive development. Indeed, the institution has made significant progress by placing poverty reduction at the heart of its operations.
As part of its support to inclusive growth and food security, BOAD has been promoting projects in priority areas such as agricultural resilience, sustainable development, crop insurance and inclusive finance. It also provides direct assistance to some governments. Consequently, the Bank’s commitments variedly contributed towards improved socio-economic and living conditions of the populations in the Union, especially through wealth and job creation as well as regional land-use planning.
BOAD’s support is expected to contribute both towards poverty reduction, improved food security, environmental protection through environmental regeneration (including river ecosystems), strengthened and secured dams as well as meeting domestic power requirements.
As part of its crop insurance scheme implementation, BOAD has initiated the implementation of pilot projects by funding two national agricultural insurance companies to the tune of XOF2.2 billion in Benin and Senegal. Through these loans, the Bank helps the companies concerned in developing their activities in crop insurance area.
With respect to the projects involved, they will contribute to the protection of nearly 391,000 rice, cotton and maize producers from yield loss due to climate hazards. These projects will contribute to improved welfare of producers by increasing their security and reducing their vulnerability to climate hazards. In doing so, they will contribute to i) poverty reduction within the rural communities concerned; ii) increased productivity of affected farms; iii) securing better the income of target producers and organizations by granting them credit facilities to buy farming inputs; iv) profitable operations of national agricultural insurance companies by strengthening their capacities.
More generally, BOAD’s operations mainly relate to: i) construction of water reservoirs, implementation of hydroagricultural development projects for water control meant for rice double-cropping, market gardening and construction of warehouses; ii) institutional support including training, monitoring/coaching activities; iii) supply and distribution of inputs for agricultural intensification; and iv) support to marketing agricultural products, with the construction of rural feeder roads.
In this connection, recommendations made by the High-Level Committee on Food Security, chaired by the Head of State of Niger, are being implemented. This led to supporting projects and programmes included in the report entitled “Situation of agriculture in the Union and prospects for the attainment of food security and sustainable agricultural development” adopted in June 2012 by the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Union.
As part of its activity programme, BOAD provides loans to agricultural projects aimed at consolidating food security by introducing the system of rice intensification (SRI), creating sustainable agricultural jobs and increasing rural household incomes for women and youths in particular. Those projects addressed the needs for investment contained in member countries’ national programmes for agricultural investments and food security (PNIASA).
Furthermore, as recommended by its forty year anniversary forum held in November 2013, the Bank launched in February 2014 the work of an ad hoc committee on food security in West Africa, and more specifically, in the Sahel region.