News / Africa

Agricultural Projects Bring Together Researchers, Farmers and Other Stakeholders

Farmers have long complained about the difficulty gaining access to the results of research, which were often confined for years to laboratory shelves.

The research would be completed but the results not be shared with the farmers, the very people who needed it.

The reasons for that are not known - perhaps a lack of funding to get the word out, perhaps a simple lack of communication.

As a result, the farmers did not benefit from the new information. But now the Dakar-based West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development, known as CORAF/WECARD, has decided to take action.

Harold Roy-Macauley is the programs director for the group, best known by its acronym in French and English, CORAF/WECARD.

He says they’ll get better results if they involve all concerned parties from the beginning of a research project to its application in the field.

“It’s a new way of doing things.  Research is the generation of knowledge and if we want to apply it, then we have to work in a different way, to create what we call innovation platforms where we have different categories of stakeholders, including research scientists, producers, NGOs, extension workers, and private sector and consumer groups.  All these people have to be in that platform to develop the project together.  We have had very good results and we are now systematically using this method in all our projects”, said Roy-Macauley.

The integrated approach is the basis for three new regional research projects formally launched by the council in early November in Douala, Cameroon.

They include increasing the production of smallholder fish farming systems in Benin, Ivory Coast and Cameroon; re-fertilizing suburban farms using urban waste in Burkina Faso, Congo, Senegal and Togo; and optimizing cocoa productivity within agroforestry systems in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Cameroon.

Seventy participants from 22 national agricultural research institutions, partner universities, donors, farmers groups and NGOs came together in Douala for four days of brainstorming and fine-tuning the projects.

The executive director of CORAF/WECARD, Paco Sereme, is confident of their success.

He says judging from the quality of debate and the caliber of experts involved, he’s sure that the desired results will be achieved when the projects end in three years.    

The projects were selected according to the needs of stakeholders, like farmers who want less expensive ways of boosting yields and agro-businesses that want improved farming methods.

They’re supported by council grants funded with US $ 1.75 million from Britain, Canada, the European Union and other donors.

Three projects are underway. There are more than 40, including some focusing on aquaculture, food crops, biotechnology and biosafety and natural resource management.

Edmond Hien of the University of Ouagadougou is the coordinator of a research project using urban waste, such as food scraps and residues from agro-processing industries, for adding additional fertilizer to farmland.

He says sub-Saharan African soils are generally poor and peasants cannot afford appropriate organic or mineral inputs to regularly fertilize them for optimal crop yields.

Farmers on the fringes of urban areas depend on waste for fertilizer - waste that may contain toxic substances.  He says the project aims at extracting environmentally harmful, pathogenic and undesirable metallic elements from by-products used to fertilize the fields.

As part of plans to guarantee success, CORAF says if stakeholders are not satisfied, the funding - and the projects - will end.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to an enhancement or regression of democracy on the Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid