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 On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid