A new project designed to scale proven technologies has been launched in Burkina Faso by the country’s Minister of Agriculture along with other key research and development players.
In late 2020, the Swiss Agency for International Development (SDC) entered into a new collaboration agreement with CORAF, a research coordination instrument to scale up innovations to reduce hunger and poverty in West and Central Africa.
Implementers have since then stepped-up efforts to fully implement the project on the ground. The launching of the Agricultural Technologies and Innovations Scaling Up Project for Increasing the Resilience of Production Systems and Family Farms in West and Central Africa (TARSPro), in Ouagadougou marked the start of activities in Burkina Faso. Similar launch activities are expected in Benin, Chad, Mali, and Niger in the weeks and months ahead.
“This program aims to address some of the critical issues facing the Government of Burkina Faso by providing the most appropriate solutions for the improvement of the livelihoods of our people, especially women and young,” said Mr. Donkora Kambou, representative of the Minister of Agriculture of Burkina Faso.
By funding this project, SDC aims to sustainably reverse hunger and poverty in Burkina Faso and across West Africa and parts of Central Africa. Jean-Michel Limat, Director of Cooperation at the Swiss Cooperation Office in Burkina Faso, represented SDC at the launching event.
“This program will contribute to the food, nutritional and economic security of more than 10 million people, including 50 percent women and 60 percent young people,” said Limat.
TARSPro is implemented by national agricultural research institutions in the target countries alongside with CORAF. ProfessorNiéyidouba Lamien, a program manager in CORAF and Focal Point of the Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security Priority intervention domain represented CORAF at the event.
“We are pleased that the Swiss Agency for International Development is supporting CORAF in this project. This is in line with CORAF’s 2018-2027 strategic plan, which provides, among other things, the scaling up of technologies and innovations that research has generated over the past decades to meet the challenges of improving our food system and agricultural production,” according to Professor Lamien at the opening ceremony.
Several partners, including farmer groups and several others in the national agricultural research system of Burkina Faso, would participate in implementing this four-year project.
“This program allows the research centres to support the targeted beneficiaries, notably women and young people in their hard work to achieve food and nutritional security,” said Dr. Hamidou Traore, representing the National Centre for Scientific and Technological Research of Burkina Faso (CNRST).
“TARSPro is new. We are confident that together with other ongoing national and regional initiatives, TARSPro will increase the employability of women and young people. As a result, improve their income and benefit households or the targeted areas,” added Dr. Hamidou.
TARSPro seeks primarily to scale up proven innovations with the overarching objective of ensuring food and nutrition security of the populations of five countries in West and Central Africa. This close to USD 11 million (5.6 billion FCFA) project covers the period from 2020 to 2024 and constitutes the first phase of a 12-year commitment between the Swiss Cooperation and CORAF for an overall amount of USD 33 million (18 billion FCFA).
TARSPro seeks the following development outcomes:
- Increase the resilience of the food production system of at least 2 million producers/processors, including 50% women and 60% youth in the five targeted countries and more than 10 million indirect beneficiaries.
- Sustainably meet the demand for know-how (technologies and innovations) of at least 40% of the family farms affected by the project.
- Ensure a coalition and synergy of actions of the actors of transformation of the agricultural sector.