At the beginning of each year, the CSAT-Mali and CSAT-Niger projects hold evaluation and planning workshops for their activities. Following the suspension of COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions, the projects held physical meetings in both locations, from 7 to 14 March in Bamako and from 14 to 18 March in Niamey, respectively.
Stakeholders in both countries’ agricultural sectors attended the events. In Mali, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Rural Development, the Director General of the Institute of Rural Economy, and the representative of the Royal Norwegian Embassy all participated in the meetings. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Director General of INRAN, the ICRISAT Country Representative in Niger, and the permanent secretary of CNRA presided over the opening ceremony in Niger.
The collaborators first assessed the projects’ activities in 2021, then set the milestones for 2022.
In his opening speech, the Director of IITA Sahel hub and CSAT Project Coordinator, Tahirou Abdoulaye, thanked all the project partners for their excellent collaboration and recalled the good results achieved by the project.
IITA West Africa Director Michael Abberton expressed appreciation to the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway. He also expressed his satisfaction with the results achieved by the project in such a short time. In Niger, he mentioned IITA’s intention to sign an agreement to coordinate its activities better in the country.A distinction of this year’s meetings was the involvement of farmers, the direct beneficiaries of the projects’ activities, in the planning. Listening to the farmers directly and understanding their expectations would help develop adequate solutions.
By the end of this third year, the projects hope to address all topics aimed at facilitating the adoption of technologies to cope with climate change and, by extension, improve life and ensure food security in rural areas.
During the workshop, the partners also visited farms and local product processors to provide a solid and constructive program to ensure that the CSAT projects will have a successful year.
Contributed by Fatoumata Dolo