AATF entered into a tripartide Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA) and the National Seed Trade Association (UNIS) in April 2021, to facilitate uptake of appropriate agricultural technologies by the smallholder farmers in the country. This is the start of the implementation of a programme dubbed Development of Crop Value Chains for Agricultural Sector Transformation and Economic Growth in Senegal.
The parties have identified key areas of interventions and partnership in line with the priorities of the Government of Senegal’s Programme d’Accélération de la Cadence de l’Agriculture Sénégalaise (PRACAS). The interventions will assist in reaching the PRACAS goal of building a competitive, diversified and sustainable agricultural market to be able to trade Senegal’s commodities internationally while providing stable revenues for rural communities.
The program was jointly developed between the three parties after various consultations, joint validation and finally presentation to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
Specifically in the rice value-chain, the MOU will promote the development and dissemination of high yielding, high quality and well-adapted rice hybrids across rice growing zones in Senegal.
In the maize value chain, the program aims to increase the productivity per unit area by testing and releasing a wide array of maize varieties. Mechanization will also be a strong component to the rice, maize and cassava value chains where AATF will bring and adapt successful, sustainable mechanization models from other African countries. Alongside realising of improved seed varieties, the partners will work with the value chain stakeholders, provide capacity building, promote the business case and support relevant linkages, to ensure there is profitability in the value chains for sustainability and to ensure local production becomes competitive.
In the agreement, AATF will be a co -coordinator of the program, facilitate and serve as a liaison between donors and other parties for fundraising and execution of activities under the programme for promotion of agricultural technologies.
The partnership comes at a time when AATF is working towards reaching an ambitious goal of 16 million small holder farmers by 2022 through its activities and those of its partners, as set out in its 2018 – 2022 strategy.
In the agreement, ISRA will assess all the technologies introduced with AATF or proposed by its research team for validation and participate in their promotion, ensure the production of pre-basic seeds of high-yielding varieties of good quality from the various speculations identified following a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) framework with UNIS and facilitate uptake of appropriate technologies introduced in Senegal.
UNIS will liaise with the private sector in the various crop value chains, mobilize participation and contribution from its members and directly implement the activities of the programme and the project relating to private sector actors, national organizations and its clientele in the crop value chains. AATF will contribute to the identification of constraints and proposal of appropriate technologies that will be validated by the Parties.
ISRA is a public institute of science and technology whose mission is to undertake and develop research in plant, animal, forest, and fish production and to put in place decision-making support tools with a view to contributing to growth in agricultural production and its sustainability. ISRA’s objectives include the production of appropriate technologies and knowledge toward achieving the food security goals of the populations, creation of jobs and wealth and, hence, the economic, social and scientific development in the country. ISRAs experience in agricultural research is especially key towards the success of this programme.
UNIS is an association of seed producers registered under the laws of the Republic of Senegal operating in the territory of the said State with the objective of promoting and rationalizing the seed system with support from Government and other stakeholders. UNIS’ will ensure its members have access to the new high yielding and climate smart technologies.