A regional workshop to review and plan the activities of the UEMOA – CORAF/WECARD projects was held from 10 to 13 January in Abidjan, the Ivorian capital. The meeting which was chaired by Prof. Abdhourahamane Sangaré, the Deputy Director General of the CNRA of Côte d’Ivoire recorded effective participation of the Director General of CIRDES, regional and national coordinators as well as representatives of project teams under the VATICOPP and PROGEVAL projects from the eight UEMOA francophone countries. In his opening ceremony, Prof. Sangaré welcomed all delegates to the important workshop and added that it was a pleasure to direct the agenda. He emphasized that the meeting was an opportunity for the participants to review the pass activities that was implemented, to know the state of progress on ongoing projects at the level of each institution and each country, plan and budget for upcoming activities. Prof. Sangaré thanked the executive secretariat of CORAF/WECARD for putting its trust to support the organizing of this workshop.
The head of the CORAF/ WECARD delegation, Dr Mariame Maiga addressed the workshop participants on the priority areas defined in the cooperation agreement between CORAF/WECARD and the UEMOA Commission. These include improving the performance and competitiveness of the cotton sector, livestock (meat, poultry) and aquaculture sector. Therefore, the workshop will come up with possible strategies to tackle different issues and streamline the activities based on the results obtained, difficulties encountered and lessons learnt. Also, she asserted that consideration should be given to gender issues as the vulnerable groups in implementation of projects. She clarified that CORAF will exploit all the conclusions and recommendations of the workshop to respond appropriately with regards to the VATICOPP and PROGEVAL projects.
Referring to the results obtained from the UEMOA-CORAF/ WECARD projects, Mrs Maiga affirmed its relevance towards improving the performance of implementation of VATICOPP and PROGEVAL projects. According to her, the quarterly reports of 2016 showed satisfactory performance on the implementation of these projects.
For VATICOPP, the baseline study on the particleboard sector and the valorization of cotton stalks was finalized in Benin, Mali and Togo. In addition, 337 cotton growers, comprising of 16% women and 28 extension technicians, 7% of whom were trained in best practices for the collection and conservation of cotton stalks for usage in the production of particleboard (PP). Also, three innovation platforms are currently operational. Finally, the optimum parameters required for the manufacture of PP based on tissue culture (TC) in terms of polymerization time, pressing time and binder content are known.
As for the PROGEVAL project, reports on the status of animal and aquaculture genetic resources are available from seven of the eight WAEMU countries, five Innovations Platforms on the management of animal and aquaculture genetic resources are functional and two M1 and M2 markers are validated on 12 Kou individuals in Burkina Faso and Manzala at CIRAD.
About 33 actors participating in the projects attended the meeting comprising of representatives of national project coordinators, accountants from national institutions, monitoring and evaluation officers.