West African Farmer Innovation Fair & workshop on farmer-led research / Foire et atelier sur l’innovation par les paysan/nes en Afrique de l’Ouest (FIPAO)

Traduction française ci-dessous

On 12–16 May 2015, Burkina Faso hosted a West African workshop on approaches to research by and with smallholder farmers and a West African Farmer Innovation Fair – Foire de l’Innovation Paysanne en Afrique de l’Ouest (FIPAO) – in Ouagadougou.

This was an initiative of the Prolinnova/PROFEIS network in collaboration with AgriProFocus (APF) Netherlands, CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), McKnight Foundation’s Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) Community of Practice (CoP) in West Africa, Misereor (Germany) and SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation). The event raised great interest from the Burkina Faso authorities and involved several prominent policymakers, including the Prime Minister, the Minister of Scientific Research and Innovation, and the Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources, Sanitation and Food Security.

Workshop on farmer-led research

The workshop on farmer-led research preceding the fair brought together 35 participants from development organisations, farmer organisations, universities and research institutes from nine countries, including five in West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal) and four in the Global North (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and United States). All motivated by the desire to promote agricultural research by and with small-scale farmers, participants focused on issues of technology supply and demand in African agriculture and intellectual property rights related to farmers’ innovations. They also shared experiences related to processes of introducing external innovations, co-developing innovations, innovation emerging from multistakeholder platforms and autonomous innovation by farmers. The mutual exchange of key ideas allowed lessons to be drawn for meeting the needs of farmers to improve their livelihoods sustainably. The workshop culminated in a collective statement called “The Ouagadougou Declaration”, challenging all stakeholders to further promote collaborative research with farmers: English version. Find the complete report of the workshop in French (executive summary in English) at http://fipao.faso-dev.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Rapport-Atelier-FIPAO-July-2015-final-2.pdf

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