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Young professionals empowered to transform Africa’s Agriculture

In the past few days, the West African chapters of YPARD have been actively engaged in trainings on Technologies for Africa Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) Capacity Development and Technology Outreach (CDTO) as spearheaded by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). TAAT is a framework developed by the Africa Development Bank as part of its current efforts to facilitate agricultural development in Africa. It aims to increase the use of already proven agricultural technologies among all stakeholders to cause a change through farm level productivity and value chain development.

The first session of these trainings took place at the FARA Secretariat in Accra, Ghana from the 20th to 22nd March 2019 for Anglophone West Africa: Ghana, Liberia & Sierra Leone. FARA organized this in collaboration with Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research- Ghana (CSIR-STEPRI), The International Potato Center (CIP), CORAF and the Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD).

The training activities were geared towards building the capacity of participants to initiate the dissemination of knowledge on Information Platforms (IP) among the first ten countries in which TAAT is being initiated. These IPs are operationally a network of stakeholders with a common interest. This network stimulates collaboration and the generation innovation within the system in which the stakeholders operate. This is to set the pace for further capacity development for the institutionalization of the IP model in the countries as a result enhance the development of Africa’s agricultural sector on country level.

As part of the training exercise, a field visit was organized to The Citrus Innovation Platform (IP) located in Kade in the Eastern Region of Ghana. This IP has been in existence since August 2014 and is one of the four IPs which were set up by the Sub Saharan Africa Challenge Programme (SSA CP) in Ghana. These IPs are very instrumental in improving income levels for farmers, marketers and other actors along the value chain.

Participants of the training had the opportunity to interact with farmers concerning the role of IPs in technology adoption as well as its advantages. Also, while on the field trip, the trainees had the opportunity to observe diseased farms and have their judgements informed on the current interventions and the benefits thereof. The last point of call on the visit was to the Pinora Fruit Processing Factory which is one of the end-users of the citrus fruit within the IP. Pinora produces citrus concentrate for the international market.

The next three-day session for the training session is ongoing in Dakar, Senegal for Francophone West Africa: Senegal, Mali, Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroun, Mali; and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This will end on the 27th of March 2019.

Photo credit: Kofi Acquaye