CORAF adapted itself and continued implementing the Partnership for Agricultural Research, Education and Development in West Africa (PAIRED) program despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Some noticeable results were achieved in 2020, according to the annual report.
The PAIRED program is structured into three components. Component I is designed to strengthen CORAF institutional capacity, making it a stellar instrument for the regional coordination of agricultural research. Among the notable accomplishments of 2020:
- CORAF renewed its agreement with the Senegalese Government, thus facilitating CORAF’s operations;
- The holding of 27th and 28th Ordinary Sessions of the Governing Board during which major decisions were taken;
- The improvement of public perception of CORAF as demonstrated by the growing following on social media platforms as well as viewership on the website;
- The start of reforms of CORAF’s human resources and financial management system;
- The digitalization of processes and procedures to further improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness.
What were the Achievements of Component II?
Component II focuses on the scaling up of proven technologies and innovations. Here, the following was achieved:
- Eight strategic subgrant agreements were signed between CORAF and the National Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIs)) of the sub-region to collaborate for effective implementation of the program;
- One hundred forty-two agricultural input packages — of a total of 376 — were developed for the value chains promoted by PAIRED.
- Seventeen existing innovation platforms were strengthened;
- Fifteen farmer associations were transformed into innovation platforms, the farms of 1,494 main beneficiaries georeferenced, 89 demonstration plots established to present improved varieties of maize, millet, sorghum and rice and 12 open field days organized with the participation of 509 people including 244 women;
- The Agricultural Innovations and Technologies Market (MITA platform) was improved, and the involvement of the private sector for the production and the marketing of new, improved varieties in the seeds sector were strengthened, with 29 innovative partnerships that were signed with the Seed and fertilizer sector actors, in Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, and Mali;
- The Fertilizer and Seed Recommendation for West Africa Map (FeSeRWAM) was developed in collaboration with the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC). FeSeRWAM is an online platform powered by CORAF that offers key recommendations on agri-inputs to use, particularly targeting smallholder farmers in West Africa.
What were the Achievements of Component III?
Component III of the project seeks the delivery of quality inputs across West Africa. Here, the following was mainly achieved in 2020:
- The pioneer integrated regional strategy for the sustainable management of agricultural inputs in West Africa was adopted;
The PAIRED program is expected to close in 2022.