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

    Self-doubt, Cultural Barriers Hinder Cambodian Women in Tech

    Longtime Cambodian tech observer Sok Sikieng says that although more women have joined profession in recent years, there remain significant factors hindering women from reaching tech potential

    Trans-Adriatic Pipeline to Boost European Energy Security

    $4.5 billion-pipeline will become operational in 2020 and will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz II field to southern Italy

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Annual festival showcases the region's harvested agriculture, fine wines and offers opportunities to experience the gentle breeze in a hot air balloon flight

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora