CORAF 30 September 2016 /

For better communication on innovative agricultural technologies and take-up of agricultural information by media, CORAF/WECARD, has strengthened the capacity of the national unit of Côte d'Ivoire coordinated by the Interprofessional Fund for Agricultural Research and Advisory Services (FIRCA) from 12 to 18 September, 2016 in Yamoussoukro, 245 km from the capital Abidjan. 

The training had the added value of bringing together communication specialists coming from 7 national implementing agencies and 15 journalists from different media categories, with the unique opportunity to jointly tackle rural farmers lack access to knowledge and information that would help them achieve the full potential of agricultural yield and food security.

CORAF/WECARD, the regional coordination institution of WAAPP, worked with participants to enhance the capacity of participants focusing primarily on improving information collection standards and methods as well COM4DEV strategy development.

“Given the challenges of technology adoption, WAAPP/PPAAO revised its regional strategy now integrating new approaches on communication for development (COM4DEV). This strategy is based on participatory communication methods and tools that give farmers access to relevant knowledge and information to capture farmer's needs and facilitate participation of stakeholders as well as dissemination and adoption of technologies.” explained Dr Anatole KONE, Information and Communication manager at CORAF/WECARD.

WAAPP-Cote d’Ivoire developed improved technologies comprising high-yielding cultivars, best farm management practices, off season production, crop protection and harvest technologies that are directly benefitting over 1 million farmers at national level. “Thus, a greater and wide diffusion of these technologies, must undoubtedly, take place through an efficient farmer-centered communication strategy. Therefore, we’re expecting that this training will help boost the performance of our communication system, " said Jean Paul LORNG, Deputy Coordinator of WAAPP Cote d'Ivoire.

The training was conducted by three experts from WAAPP regional Coordination composed of Dr Anatole KONE, Information and Communication manager, Lola AKOMATSRI, Outreach and Community Manager and Philip IFEJIKA, Communication specialist. They build the capacity of participants on how to develop COM4DEV strategy, advocacy tools and methods and on crafting success stories. The participants were then taken for three field visits, based on which they wrote stories for their respective medium.

All the participants said that they found the training very useful and thanked the regional coordination and CORAF/WECAD for organizing the training program. They said the sessions were a great learning experience, especially since most participants lacked in-depth knowledge on agricultural information and on social and economic impacts of technologies generated under WAAPP. 

For most journalists, it was the first time they were attending an agricultural-related training, and therefore it was an eye opener and a rewarding experience.