Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, June 2, 2014

Announcement: Workshop on Approaches to Research by and with Smallholder Farmers

25–27 November 2014. Ouagadougou. The West African Workshop on Approaches to Research and Development by and with Smallholder Farmers in Francophone West Africa will be held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Organisations and individuals interested to join this event and contribute their experiences are invited to express their interest.

In West Africa, there is still fairly limited recognition by the formal ARD sector of the role of farmer innovation in ARD. While there are some promising initiatives and organisations concerned with farmer-led ARD, these are scattered and not well linked. The work is supported by some local and international NGOs and a few agricultural research programmes, but with little communication between them.

The workshop (25–27 Nov 2014) is primarily for learning and sharing among staff from field-based organisations facilitating farmer-led research and development in francophone West Africa. It will distil key policy messages from these experiences and will share them with farmers and policymakers at the fair. Deadline English / French application for the workshop: 8 Aug 2014. The workshop will be in French.
The workshop has three main objectives:
  • To generate insights and lessons on using and promoting research and development approaches by and with smallholder farmers in the francophone West African Sahel;
  • To formulate recommendations for strengthening and mainstreaming farmer-led research and development approaches in the francophone West African Sahel; and
  • To create linkages and encourage networking among advocates of this approach as a basis for exploring further collaborative action.
The workshop is an initiative of a diverse group that includes civil-society organisations partnering with
Germany-based Misereor, members of the PROLINNOVA/PROFEIS network in the region, the McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP), the CGIAR Research Program CCAFS (Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security) in West Africa, CORAF (West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development), the Agri-ProFocus (APF) network and the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).

The West African fair (28–29 Nov 2014) follows the lines of the Eastern Africa Farmer Innovation Fair held in May 2013 . The interactive event in Ouagadougou will highlight the importance of farmer-led innovation in agriculture, celebrate smallholder farmers’ creativity and bring formal researchers, policymakers and the public together with the farmers to learn from them. Top men and women farmer innovators from Sahel areas in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Niger, Togo and Senegal will be selected to exhibit their innovations. People wanting to apply to the competition to exhibit at the fair should contact the organising team in their respective countries (see Call for the fair) and send in this application form by 15 Sept 2014 @ ETC Foundation or @ the West African regional committee or @ INADES-Formation/Burkina Faso or @ Réseau MARP-Burkina..

CTA is sponsoring a special contest for video documentation of farmer innovation in the face of climate change, in addition to the other innovations being presented at the fair. The films will be shown at the fair. People wanting to propose a farmer innovation related to climate change for video filming should send in this application form by 8 Aug 2014.

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