PARM at RPCA: Agricultural risk management in response to food, nutrition security challenges in Africa
The Platform for Agricultural Risk Management (PARM) actively participated in the 38th restricted meeting of the “Réseau pour la Prévention des Crises Alimentaires (RPCA)”, which held from the 12th to 14th April 2023 in Paris, France. The event was a great opportunity for PARM to present its technical assistance at regional level with a special focus on West and Central African countries as well as to promote its contribution to prevent food crisis, notably by supporting regional organizations in managing cereals reserve.
On 14 April 2023, PARM participated in the panel of discussions during the session on “Risk management and governance instruments for agricultural innovation in response to food and nutrition security challenges”.
PARM’s Manager, Massimo Giovanola and the Capacity Development Specialist, Francesca Nugnes, led the discussion on, “Agricultural risk management instruments, investment plan and resource mobilisation: experiences in Africa”, addressing PARM’s holistic approach for Agricultural Risk Management (ARM) through the presentation of specific tools and capacity development activities implemented in the ECOWAS region.
Both presenters highlighted the utility of PARM’s new risk management approach based on value chain and of capacity development as part of a strategy to de-risk investments in agriculture, which particularly raised the interest of the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and of the Réseau des Organisations Paysannes et des Producteurs Agricoles de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA). The session was introduced by the CILSS and benefited from the participation of the Réseau Billital Marrobé (RBM) of pastoralists, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West and Central African Counsel for agricultural research and development (CORAF).
The 38th RCPA meeting was held under the patronage of the Commissions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and brought together the main stakeholders active in food and nutrition security in the Sahel and West Africa region and was organized by CILSS and the Secretariat of the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC/OECD).
The meeting focused on examining the evolution of food and nutrition situation and mobilise all stakeholders in the face of major food crisis in the region. It was underlined that crisis are interconnected and involve economic, health, social and environmental matters, enhancing the importance of having a holistic approach to risk management. PARM process aligns with that recommendation and contributes to its achievement by providing capacity development and value chain risk analysis to identify tools helping to prevent food crisis with a gender perspective.
The participants also examined and discussed the complexity and risks related to the ECOWAS regional cereals reserve. The latter represents an important opportunity for small farmers to access institutional markets, which also makes it possible to certify the products stored in the deposit and develop warehouse receipt systems (WRS). As a specialized global platform working at regional level, PARM could support the regional cereal reserve by providing a holistic assessment of its risks and identify tools to complement the reserve and incorporate it in a risk management strategy.
Also, PARM capacity development workshops could provide key training about ARM strategies for relevant actors of the region. Hosted by IFAD, PARM is a G20-initiative created in 2013 with the mandate to enable the integration of a holistic Agricultural Risk Management (ARM) approach into policy planning, institutional capacities, and investment in the agricultural sector of Least Developed Countries and Lower Middle-Income Countries to move away from a culture of coping with disasters towards a smart management of risk, and support building resilience in the agricultural sector with a gender approach.
The platform represents a unique and strategic global multi-stakeholder partnership in the area of Agricultural Risk Management and funded by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), European Commission (EC), Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and Italian Development Cooperation (AICS).