Cotonou to Host a Symposium Aiming at Taking Stock of AR4D in West and Central Africa

[Cotonou, Benin, 18 July 2022] The economic capital of the Republic of Benin, Cotonou, will host a symposium from 19 to 21 July 2022, with the overall objective of taking stock of agricultural research for development (AR4D) in West and Central Africa (WCA).

At the initiative of CORAF, the symposium will bring together about a hundred participants, mainly to reflect and exchange both on AR4D achievements to capitalize on in the region, and on the gaps to be bridged.

“Agricultural research for development has proven to be particularly effective over the past decades in West and Central Africa, generating a myriad of technologies and innovations. However, it is clear that the actors and the populations do not capitalize enough on the achievements of this research. This is reflected in the low adoption rate of technologies and innovations,” says Dr. Emmanuel Njukwe, CORAF Director of Research and Innovation.

“As a result, agriculture in West and Central Africa is still prone to disruptions and continues to struggle to respond promptly to emergencies,” he observes.

In this regard, the scientific meeting will be held under the theme ‘Agricultural Technologies & Innovations: Climate-smart solutions for the transformation of emergence and post-emergence situations.’

The symposium will focus on four main topics: 

1.  Climate-smart agriculture (plant, animal, aquaculture, forest and environment production): adaptation and mitigation;

2.  Transboundary plant pests and diseases;

3.  Restoration of degraded land and management of soil and water fertility; and

4.  Post-harvest management (processing, conservation and marketing).

“Through this symposium, CORAF aims to instigate a paradigm shift, bringing together stakeholders to establish an operational platform for scientific knowledge management, which will serve the agricultural systems of West and Central Africa to be more effective in helping people to manage emergency and post-emergency situations,” affirms Dr. Njukwe.

CORAF organizes the symposium in the framework 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), funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

This symposium is in line with one of the main objectives of the TARSPro project, which is to ensure a coalition and a synergy of actions of agriculture transformation players.

The event is organized by CORAF in collaboration with the National Agricultural Research Institute of Benin, which is the implementing partner of the TARSPro project in the country.

In addition to Benin, the TARSPro project is implemented in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad.

Therefore, the Cotonou symposium will also be an opportunity to strengthen the commitment of project stakeholders at regional level, through the establishment of the Regional Steering Committee.

Expected participants include Benin’ Government authorities, representatives of the National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) of the twenty-three (23) WCA countries under the coordination of CORAF, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the SDC, researchers and academics, and many other stakeholders.

It is expected that the conclusions and recommendations of the symposium as well as the compilation of the summary notes of the different communications that will be made in each of the four priority themes, will constitute the proceedings of the symposium and will be shared with all stakeholders in the agricultural sector.