Mali 13 August 2016 /

To intensify the adoption of improved technologies in priority agricultural sectors of Mali, CORAF/WECARD strengthened the capacity of 12 implementing agencies of the West Africa Productivity Program (WAAPP) from 3-6 August, 2016 in Segou (240 km from Bamako, the capital.

The objective of the mission is to facilitate interactions on research outputs, methodologies and learning resources on Communication for development (COMDEV) through enhanced experience sharing, advocacy and collaboration among the implementing agencies engaged in the facilitation of technology and innovation generated.

For Dr. Aly Kouriba, National Coordinator of WAAPP/PPAAO, this training will "strengthen the performance of the information and communication system which various public and private services, NGOs extension agents have in common."

The challenge today for the WAAPP-Mali coordination unit is the updating of its national communication plan and a 2016 annual communication action plan. To do so, the capacity of participants from the implementing agencies have been strengthened on a wide range of methods and tools, including ICT and social media in terms of Communication for Development to maximize the impact of development initiatives, promoting multi-stakeholder dialogue, informed decision making and collective action.

On the field, the participants were exposed to techniques focusing on the mobilization of rural producers and dissemination of improved agricultural technologies for increasing productivity. The delegation visited the national platform of seed potato of Niono district located in the Office du Niger. The innovation platform bringing together 54 producer groups through the support of WAAPP has successfully supplied 12% of national production capacity in potato seed. A success story as an endogenous funding mechanism has been set up by the platform on the basis of revenues generated from sales to build cold chambers for the conservation of seeds.

The visit continued with Assetou DIARRA, owner of a rice processing plant in Niono where PPAAO introduced high yielding varieties of rice. The husked and and labeled rice "Mah Diarra" available at affordable price makes the consumers happy. Exclusive provider from the Office du Niger to the capital, the kilogram is sold at 400 CFA francs no matter the season or the market price.

At the end of the training, communication officers involved in the implementation of WAAPP-Mali have created a virtual platform for exchange and collaboration in order to synchronize communication activities for development.