The World Bank has announced a US$140m grant and loan package to improve West African food production, improving export quality to secure more foreign markets.

It is working with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Japan, its own International Development Association and the Global Environment Facility to run the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme.

It will build regional public-private partnerships, cooperation agreements and grant money to speed the adoption of agricultural, agro-industrial and natural resources management technologies. Centres of excellence will be established for researching tree crops (cocoa, coffee, cashew, palm tree, rubber tree, Arabic gum, shea nut and mangoes) in Ghana, and agro-processing, in Senegal.