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Tropentag 2022, September 14 - 16, Prague, Germany

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Assessment of agroecological knowledge and training needs of small-scale farmers in West Africa

Judith Henze1, Olivier Sawadogo2, Magloire Thiombiano3

1Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Centre for Rural Development, Germany
2Provincial Directorate of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources, Sanitation and Food Security of Oubritenga (DPARHASA/OTG), Burkina Faso
3Thomas Sankara University, Agroeconomics, Burkina Faso


Burkina Faso and Senegal – that host countries the two research sites of the NUTRiGREEN project - can be described as hotspots of climate change due to their projected population increase, their vulnerability to climate change and general food insecurity. As a consequence it is now more important than ever to a) to assist their efforts to transform how and what foods are being produced and consumed, b) to adapt the local agricultural systems to the impacts of climate change, c) to minimise the negative impacts of the food system on the environment of the region, on consumers’ health and the economic well-being of all actors in the food system, in order to provide everyone with a sustainable future.

The NUTRiGREEN project - running from June 2021 till May 2024 - examines the value chains of traditional African plants, to determine the incremental, systemic, and transformative adaptations required to boost their impact in the local and regional agri-food system. Climate-resilient and agroecological practices are at the centre of the project design.

The NUTRIGREEN team conducted a household survey in March and April 2022 with 400 small-scale farmers to understand the local production system as well as consumption pattern.
In parallel, NUTRiGREEN started the first phase of the so-called climate field schools. Thereby the training needs of research farmers on agroecological knowledge (pre-season) are assessed. This activity is conducted to understand the existing agroecological knowledge and practices. These insights are used to identify the training needs that are being addressed as part of the climate field schools, which are designed to build smallholder capacity. This is later followed by an evaluating of learning after the 2022 season (questionnaire and focus group discussion with treatment group and control group.

The planned poster will highlight the keys findings of the household survey and the climate field schools on the on agroecological knowledge of the local small-scale farmers and make suggestions for needs-based trainings and locally fitting diffusion strategies.

Keywords: Agroecological knowledge, Burkina Faso, household survey, needs assessment, Senegal

Contact Address: Judith Henze, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Centre for Rural Development, Robert-Koch-Platz 4, 10115 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: judith.henze.1@hu-berlin.de

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