Press and News AVENIR: A Sustainable Vision for Senegalese Agriculture

AVENIR, a sustainable vision for Senegalese agriculture presented by Issa Ouedraogo, PhD

On May 22 2024, the Alliance held the second of its monthly scientific awareness seminars in Dakar. This series, which began on April 23 2024, is designed to showcase the various projects led by researchers to increase understanding of these initiatives, stimulate debate and explore synergistic opportunities between projects.

During this session, Dr. Issa Ouedraogo - the Alliance's Country Representative for Senegal - presented the AVENIR project (Adaptation and Valorization of Entrepreneurship in Irrigated Agriculture). Funded by Global Affairs Canada and implemented in collaboration with MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates), this initiative aims to improve the socio-economic well-being and resilience of farming households in the country's Tambacounda and Sédhiou regions. The seminar serves as a platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration among experts and participants. 

Faced with major challenges such as land degradation, food insecurity, and climate change, AVENIR proposes a model of climate-smart agriculture and agricultural entrepreneurship. The project focuses on the diversification of crops with varieties adapted to local conditions such as rice, okra, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and tree crops like baobab, cashew, and papaya. These crops are supported by drip irrigation systems and advanced integrated water management technologies. 

A central pillar of the project is climate information, which ensures the production and dissemination of crucial climate data for agricultural decision-making. This system is complemented by training for farmers, enabling them to effectively use this information to optimize their agricultural practices. 

In terms of agri-nutrition, AVENIR promotes the production of nutritious foods, reduces post-harvest losses and contamination, and offers training on nutrition and food safety. These initiatives aim to improve the quality of the available food supply and raise awareness among households to adopt healthy eating practices. 

The project also seeks to energize the local market through Smart-Incentive - an in-depth market research, needs assessments of stakeholders, and capacity-building initiatives. Particular emphasis is placed on including youth and women, with strategies aimed at enhancing their active participation in the agricultural economy. 

AVENIR, a sustainable vision for Senegalese agriculture presented by Issa Ouedraogo, PhD - Image 1

The initial results are promising: AVENIR has established 15 demonstration farms, developed soil health manuals, and engaged multi-sectoral working groups for optimal water resource management. These achievements demonstrate the project's commitment to laying the foundations for sustainable and resilient agriculture. 

The seminar held highlighted the progress made by AVENIR, and served as a platform for sharing knowledge, thus stimulating a constructive discussion about the future of agriculture in the region.  

In the next seminar, another innovative program will be presented, continuing to use these scientific awareness meetings to promote sustainable and effective agricultural practices. These monthly seminars are expected to be key events for all those engaged in agricultural development in West Africa, offering new and innovative perspectives on initiatives shaping agricultural practices of the future.