Close to 600,000 farmers are expected to be reached by the Fertilizer and Seed Recommendation for West Africa Map (FeSeRWAM), according to Deputy Chief of Party of the Feed the Future Enhancing Growth through Regional Agricultural Input Systems (EnGRAIS) Project for West Africa.
Dr. Sansan Youl spoke on Tuesday, March 16, at an online forum to validate the integrated communications, marketing, and dissemination strategy of the FeSeRWAM platform.
FeSeRWAM is a geographical information system web-based platform capturing, storing, and visualizing recommendations data on seeds and fertilizers. This digital tool was developed by CORAF in collaboration with IFDC. The United States Agency for International Development, West Africa, funds this initiative through the PAIRED and EnGRAIS programs.
The platform contains recommendations on agri-inputs, fertilizer, seeds, and good agricultural practices, for different crops in specific agro-ecological zones. More than 250 varieties have been posted on the platform for about 25 crops from 14 countries. Data is still being gathered for Cape Verde, The Gambia, and Mauritania. The platform is expected to be updated annually.
“FeSeRWAM and the Agricultural input packages (AIPs) aim to considerably increase the productivity and the livelihood of the farmers across the region,” says Dr. Caroline Makamto Sobgui, Senior Scaling Specialist at CORAF.
“We highly recommend the use of the FeSeRWAM and the AIPs because there are the results of research and technological innovation. They are meant to help farmers to have better control over agricultural challenges such as climate change,” added Dr. Makamto Sobgui.
The virtual workshop held on March 16, 2021, brought together about fifty participants from the private and public sectors and civil society, allowed the stakeholders to validate the integrated communication, marketing and dissemination plan of FeSeRWAM.
The plan puts a premium on end-users and sustainability. This is why, in the long term, the overarching objective is to ensure the private sector actors own the tool.
Participants at the validation workshop were drawn from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Monetary and Economic Union Union (UEMOA), the Permanent Interstate Committee for drought control in the Sahel (CILSS), the European Union, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), the West African Fertilizer Association (WAFA), the Alliance for Seed Industry in West Africa (ASIWA), etc.
The Plan’s implementation is expected to start in April 2021. At least 25 percent of the target audience is expected to be reached by the end of the year.