CORAF/WECARD- USAID/WA PARTNERSHIP : USAID/WA is satisfied of the findings from the field visit made to the Senegal River Valley

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A delegation from USAID West Africa Mission led by Dr. Mary Hobbs, Director of the Regional Office for Economic Growth (USAID) and Mrs. Shirley Yves, the USAID West Africa Mission Development Adviser, visited the activities of the West Africa Seed Program (WASP) at the Senegal River Valley from February 09th to 11th 2017. The USAID/WA delegation was accompanied by Dr. Paul SENGHOR, the WASP Seed Policy and Advocacy Specialist, Mr. Adama Keita, The WASP-Senegal National Seed Specialist and Mr. Alassane Dia, CORAF/WECARD Communication Specialist. At the end of the visit, the Delegation expressed great satisfaction in a message shared below with the CORAF/WECARD Executive Director (Dr. Abdou TENKOUANO) and Management.

The USAID delegation “had extensively discussed with the heads of the Agricultural Research Center (CRA / Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute) at Saint Louis. These discussions helped improve our understanding of their research and seed production programs in collaboration with both AfricaRice and the private sector within the implementation of the WASP. Shirley in her message on the behalf of the Regional Director stated the following: “Our discussions with Mr. Ba, the President of the Economic Interest Grouping (EIG), accredited for field inspection and quality control, were very informative,”.

The delegation visited the rice seed production areas supported by the WASP in the Senegal River Valley and paid a courtesy visit to Dr. Yamar MBODJ, the Executive Director of Hub Rural at the village of Mbodjene, and went to see his agro-pastoral farm. They also visited the Saint-Louis Seed Proccessing and Packaging Center, the Regional Seed Testing Laboratory, as well as the storage warehouse facilities at Richard-Toll. In addition, they visited the off-season rice seed production plots of AFSTA / WA and ROPPA under WASP support in the Ross-Bethio area and the EIG AGRIWALO warehouses.

The delegation showed a particularly interest in the visit to Mrs. CISSE Penda GUEYE, President of FEPRODES (Federation of Women Producers of Seeds) with the group at Richard-Toll. The Federation is one of those being supported by WASP to develop young women entrepreneurship in the seed sector and in the production of seeds. In 2016, FEPRODES produced over 120 tons of certified seed and 15 tons of foundation seed to facilitate access to seed by young women farmers at the Senegal River Valley.   ” A similar visit was made to a group of young people (boys and girls) near Mbodjene, organized around the production of rice and groundnuts,” as was narrated by the Director of the Bureau of Economic Growth of USAID for West Africa.

Speaking of the CORAF / WECARD team that accompanied them, she indicated that “Throughout the mission, the team was highly professional, competent and patient with our numerous questions. Dr. Paul SENGHOR and Mr. Adama Keita have exceptional expertise and were able to explain very clearly many complex issues. They also clearly have good relationships with the different organizations and individuals working in this field”.

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