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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid