Senegal’s national television was on hand for a workshop and training in Kaolack, and reported on the WAAPP’s SRI project in Kaolack, Fatick and Kaffrine. Abdoualaye SY, the National Facilitator for the project, spoke about how SRI has been proven in several years of trials to be effective in the region. Now, with 150 million CFA of financing approved for three years from FNRAA (le Fonds National de Recherches Agricoles et Agroalimentaires), Senegal is poised to take SRI to scale in the country’s Peanut Basin.
Also speaking in the televised clip was Dr. Waly Diouf, the coordinator for the national program for rice self-sufficiency (Program National de l’Autosuffisance en Riz) who said that SRI is extremely pertinent and that efforts should be made to take it to scale beyond the central region as well.
To see the entire clip follow this link to see the entire newscast – the SRI segment plays during minutes 20:57 to 23:45.
Fresh from the August 2014 regional training and workshop in neighboring Togo, the Benin WAAPP host organization PROCAD held the first training in November of an initiative designed to mainstream SRI in the important Ouémé River Valley in the southern part of the country.
The training was held at the Hotel Behova in Dangbo, just northwest of Benin’s capital city, Porto Novo, from November 12th to 14th. Sixty farmers partook, with the training led by Dr. Pascal Gbenou, former West Africa head of rice for the West African Network of Farmer’s and Agricultural Producer’s Organizations (ROPPA) and founder of the nearby agricultural training school SAIN, and Antonin Akiyoko, an SRI trainer frequently active in central and northern Benin with the NGO DEDRAS. Participating farmers cultivate lowland rainfed fields, many with improved water management techniques. Over the course of the next few years future trainings of trainers and relay trainings will extend SRI to an estimated 5,000 farmers in the area.
Pascal was instrumental in introducing SRI to the area and to Benin in 2009 after first learning about it while in Madagascar.
All photos by Anne-Marie Mitchell
From August 4th to August 10th project participants from around the region came to Kpalimé, Togo, for the first in-depth training of trainers and technical exchange.
Participants from the Gambia work on their national SRI map.
Split into two groups – one francophone, one anglophone – the workshop aimed to foster stronger regional connections, knowledge sharing, and to deepen technical capacity and knowledge in each country.
- Field visits to see local SRI plots and a lowland rainfed management project promoted by AfricaRice
- Identification of mechanization constraints and opportunities, and creation of a regional mechanization roadmap
- Sharing of pedagogical best practices
- Development of new communications tools
- Establishment of a common technical knowledge and understanding of SRI principles across different agroecosystems and rice production systems
- Preparation of national SRI maps, detailing project activities and proposed project target zones
- Updating of annual country plans
More information on the workshop will be available in the report, which will be posted shortly on the Project Documents page.
Rev. Robert Bimba, the charismatic head of the Community of Hope Agriculture Project (CHAP) and national coordinator for the Farmer’s Union Network (FUN), realized immediately when visiting Burkina Faso in the summer of 2012 that SRI had the potential to transform his country. While rice is centrally important to Liberia’s livelihoods and cultural heritage, production is low, and past efforts to change this have been met with limited success, at best. SRI, however, was different, and he knew this from the beginning. After one year of testing SRI on CHAP’s own plots, the organization has now conducted Liberia’s first national Training of Trainers (ToT), bringing together participants from every county in Liberia.
The national ToT, held from December 17th to 19th in Kakata City, Margibi County, brought together over 70 stakeholders, including representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, and farmers from across the country. Now motived to train other farmers in their regions, the real work begins to adapt SRI’s principles into practices that respond well to various conditions found throughout the country.
Read the full report here, and find out more about SRI in Liberia on our country page.