The Role of ECOWAS in Achieving SDG 2: A Path to Food Security by 2030

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Welcome back to our Agric Journalist blog, where we explore the latest advancements and initiatives in the agricultural sector. Today, we delve into the crucial role of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) – Zero Hunger.

By working towards this ambitious target, ECOWAS aims to ensure food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture across the region.  In this article, we will examine the key initiatives, statistics, and examples that highlight ECOWAS’ contributions to attaining SDG 2 before 2030.

Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)

Sustainable Development Goal 2 (SDG 2) - Zero Hunger.

SDG 2 is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015. It aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about 22% of the population in West Africa is undernourished, and more than 30% of children under five are stunted due to chronic malnutrition. These are alarming figures that require urgent action.


ECOWAS, or the Economic Community of West African States, is a regional organization of 15 countries that promotes economic integration and cooperation among its members. ECOWAS has been playing a key role in addressing the food security and nutrition challenges in the region through various policies and initiatives.

Is ECOWAS on Track to Achieve the MALABO Declaration’s Hunger-Free Target 2025?

Ecowas Key Initiatives

  1. Strengthening Regional Agricultural Policies:

ECOWAS plays a vital role in developing and implementing agricultural policies that promote sustainable practices, enhance productivity, and support smallholder farmers. Through initiatives such as the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP), which provides a common framework for agricultural development and food security in the region. It focuses on increasing agricultural productivity, enhancing resilience to climate change and shocks, improving access to markets and value chains, and strengthening governance and institutional capacities.

  1. Enhancing Food Security:

The ECOWAS Zero Hunger Initiative (E0HI), was launched in 2012 to accelerate the implementation of ECOWAP and other relevant policies and programs to achieve zero hunger by 2025. It focuses on four pillars: eradicating extreme poverty and hunger; ensuring sustainable food production systems; building the resilience of vulnerable groups; and ensuring a coordinated multi-sectoral approach.

ECOWAS recognizes that achieving food security is fundamental to sustainable development. To address this, the organization has implemented programs such as the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program (WAAPP) to improve productivity in staple crops, enhance market access, and reduce post-harvest losses.

These efforts contribute to increasing the availability of food and reducing hunger across the region. Example: The ECOWAS-supported Yam Improvement for Income and Food Security in West Africa (YIIFSWA) project has successfully introduced improved yam varieties to farmers, leading to increased yields and improved incomes for smallholder farmers in the region.

The ECOWAS Policy Effectiveness Analysis (PEAR), is a diagnostic study of the effectiveness of national fishery and aquaculture policies and strategies to enhance decisions on resource allocation, investment, and capacity building, and contribute to food and nutrition security and poverty reduction in West Africa. It provides evidence-based recommendations for improving policy design and implementation.

  1. Promoting Regional Trade and Market Integration:

ECOWAS has been working to foster regional trade and market integration to ensure the availability and accessibility of food within the region. The ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) was set up to eliminate trade barriers, facilitating the movement of agricultural products and promoting regional cooperation.


The ECOWAS Regional Food Security Reserve (EFR) provides emergency food assistance to member states during times of crisis. It acts as a safety net, ensuring that vulnerable populations have access to food in the face of natural disasters or conflicts.

  1. Addressing Climate Change and Resilience:

ECOWAS recognizes the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity and food security. The organization actively promotes climate-smart agriculture practices, sustainable land management, and the conservation of biodiversity. By prioritizing adaptation and mitigation strategies, ECOWAS aims to build resilience within the agricultural sector.

The ECOWAS Climate-Smart Agriculture Program (ECOSAP) promotes sustainable farming techniques such as agroforestry, conservation agriculture, and improved water management. These practices enable farmers to adapt to climate change, protect natural resources, and increase productivity.



The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) plays a crucial role in achieving SDG 2—zero hunger before 2030. Through various initiatives, policies, and programs, ECOWAS strives to enhance food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture across the region. By strengthening regional agricultural policies, enhancing food security, promoting regional trade, and addressing climate change, ECOWAS paves the way for a more sustainable and resilient agricultural sector. As we move forward, it is essential to continue supporting and collaborating with ECOWAS to ensure a brighter and food-secure future for West Africa. Together, we can achieve SDG 2 and build a more sustainable and equitable world for all.

Also read: Is ECOWAS on Track to Achieve the MALABO Declaration’s Hunger-Free Target 2025?

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