Transformative Regional Cassava Initiative Elevates Food Security, Climate Resilience, and Agro-Industrial Development

Country: Cote d'Ivoire
Transformative Regional Cassava Initiative Elevates Food Security, Climate Resilience, and Agro-Industrial Development
14 December 2023

Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire – 14 December 2023 – The Islamic Organization for Food Security (IOFS), in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) successfully launched the Cassava Capacity Building Program, a pivotal step towards reshaping cassava production and processing for sustainable impact.

At the inaugural ceremony, H.E. Kobenan Kouassi ADJOUMANI, Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food Crops, underscored the significance of cooperative agricultural efforts and commended the collaborative work of IOFS, IsDB, and UNDP in preparing and implementing the Cassava Capacity Building program. Dr. Ismail AbdelHamid , IOFS Advisor for Program and Project, emphasized the success of this being the third cassava activity in Africa organized by IOFS in 2023, following initiatives in Mozambique and Nigeria. Dr. Abdelhamid highlighted the substantial outcomes achieved through the IOFS partnership with IsDB and UNDP, emphasizing the crucial role of sustainable mechanization in agriculture and the importance of South–South Cooperation.

Mr. Ougfaly Badgji, Global Lead Management for Food Security at IsDB, elaborated on the bank's ongoing efforts to strategically develop commodities in member countries, with a specific focus on catalyzing capacities for cassava in Africa. He detailed IsDB's initiatives aimed at achieving this overarching goal.

In her welcome remarks, Ms. Carol Flore-Smereczniak, Resident Representative of UNDP Côte d'Ivoire, stressed the imperative of supporting small-scale farmers and entrepreneurs. She expressed gratitude for the collaborative efforts of IOFS and IsDB in advancing agriculture in Africa.

The Cassava Capacity Building program boasted a diverse cohort of 70 participants from Sierra Leone, Togo, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Benin, Togo, and Côte d'Ivoire. Notable attendees included representatives from prominent international organizations such as UNDP, World Food Programme, IITA, AATF, SFD, CGIAR and the private sector.

This initiative stands as a beacon for the concerted efforts required to enhance food security, build climate resilience, and propel agro-industrial development across the region. The success of the Cassava Capacity Building Program is a testament to the efficacy of collaborative partnerships and a shared commitment to fostering sustainable agricultural practices.