The Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) organised an inception workshop to mark the beginning of the Phase II of the SDC support to Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative in West Africa. The Phase I was implemented in eight African countries; Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda from 2014 to April 2019. The Phase II will be implemented in the first eight countries including Rwanda. The workshop was tagged “West Africa Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative Implementing Partners Inception Workshop on Rolling Out of Phase 2 Project (May 2019- April 2023) funded by the SDC” took place from July 17-18, 2019 at Onomo Hotel, Dakar, Senegal. The event had in attendance stakeholders from the region implementing partners; Mali, Senegal, Benin and Nigeria.

Group photograph of EOA stakeholders at the Phase II Inception Workshop Meeting 17th - 18th July, 2019 @Onomo Hotel, Dakar, Senegal

Group photograph of EOA stakeholders at the Phase II Inception Workshop Meeting 17th – 18th July, 2019 @Onomo Hotel, Dakar, Senegal

The chairman of the inception workshop, Dr David Amudavi, the Executive Director of BvAT after welcoming the participants takes them through the salient points and reeled out the four major objectives of the event; un-package Phase II new strategies, develop common understanding of the project elements, procedures and implementation, discuss the development of partner work plans and familiarise with contractual requirements and obligations including project and financial guidelines.

There were discussions on the state of implementation from the implementing countries and intra-pillars discussions were also conducted. This will help to synergise actions and focus. Best practices, lessons and challenges learnt from the Phase I were reviewed to avoid further mistakes

Major issues such as; weaknesses from partner organisations, prudent project management, creation of impacts, etc. were discussed.

Cross section of participants at the EOA-I Phase II Inception Workshop Meeting @Onomo Hotel, Dakar, Senegal

Cross section of participants at the EOA-I Phase II Inception Workshop Meeting @Onomo Hotel, Dakar, Senegal

One of the new developments in the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative was the introduction of the Grant Management System (GMS) into the New Phase.

Professor Davo Vodouhe Simplice in while appreciating, thanked BvAT for organising such event, the representative of the ministries from various countries, the EOA stakeholders for gracing the workshop. He implored the participants to take good note of the recommendations of the discussions. In addition, Doctor David Amudavi, the convener of the workshop in his closing remarks talked about the new partners that will join the project and also ensured the gathering that the recommendations of the workshop are well-taken and the working documents will soon be shared as soon as they are ready. He thanked the participants for coming. The West Africa Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative implementing partners inception workshop on rolling out of Phase II project (May 2019- April 2023) funded by the SDC came to an end at 15:30 Dakar time on July 18, 2019.

Is organic farming the only alternative to conventional agriculture to promote biodiversity in agricultural landscapes? An international research team led by the University of Göttingen questions this. According to the authors, a landscape mosaic of natural habitats and small-scale and diverse cultivated areas is the key to promoting biodiversity on a large scale in both conventional and organic agriculture. They state that political decision-makers will have to recognise this in order to achieve a corresponding paradigm shift in agriculture.

Organic certification largely focusses on banning synthetic agrochemicals, the research team criticises. This leads to limited benefits for biodiversity, but to high losses in yield, even though agriculture is becoming more intensive and specialised. “Areas cultivated under organic certification have a third more species, but do not reach the yield level of conventional cultivation. This means that more land is needed for the same yield,” explains first author Professor Teja Tscharntke, Agroecology Group at the University of Göttingen. However, as a larger area is needed, the advantages for biodiversity disappear. Moreover, it is a myth that organic farming never uses pesticides. “Pesticides are allowed as long as they are considered natural. For example, grape, orchards and also vegetables are sprayed extensively and repeatedly, mainly with copper products, even though these products accumulate in the soil,” says Tscharntke. “In addition, much organic farming has moved far away from the ideals of its early years: organic farming is not always done on idyllic family farms; organic monocultures are often similar in size to conventional farms; and vegetables are often grown under glass, at the expense of biodiversity.” In the Mediterranean region, covering crops with plastic sheets for vegetable cultivation is ruining entire landscapes, and yet an ever-increasing proportion of farming here is none-the-less achieving organic certification.

“Landscapes with high crop diversity, small fields, and at least one fifth near-natural habitats can promote biodiversity significantly more than just organic certification,” emphasises the agroecologist. “Landscapes with small fields and long edges have many times more species than landscapes with large fields, and are equally feasible both in organic and conventional agriculture.” As an example, he cites landscapes where fields are one hectare instead of six: “These can be home to six times as many plant and insect species. Variety in cultivation can also double the number of species and greatly increase biological pest control as well as successful pollination.”

Even if the EU’s Green Deal sets out to achieve a 25 percent share of organic agriculture by 2030, it will still be necessary to include 75 percent conventional agriculture in the biodiversity strategy.

Culled from:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/

 

 

TOWARDS A SUCCESSFUL ORGANISATION OF THE 6TH WEST AFRICAN ORGANIC CONFERENCE IN BURKINA FASO

In preparation for the upcoming 2021 West African Organic Conference (WAOC) in Burkina Faso, top management of the ECOWAS-led Regional Planning Committee (RPC) and the Burkina Faso Local Organising Committee (LOC) met virtually with Mr Alain SY TRAORE, Director, Agriculture and Rural Development of the ECOWAS Commission on Thursday May 20, 2021.

It was an opportunity for the Director to have a first-hand interaction with the combined team of the representatives of the RPC and LOC of the 6th West African Organic Conference.

The virtual meeting was chaired by Mr Alain SY TRAORE. Professor Davo Vodouhe Simplice, ably stood in for Mr Ernest Aubee who was unavoidably absent due to official assignment. The meeting had in attendance nine (9) strategic members. The participants discussed among other issues; historical perspective of the West African Organic Conference (WAOC), feedback from the Burkina Faso LOC, funding alternatives and way-forward in respect to the Burkina Faso 6th WAOC.

In his welcome address, Mr Alain SY TRAORE welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting. He thanked and congratulated everyone whom through their various organizations are working for the success of the Conference and prayed for a healthier and stronger ecological and organic agriculture activities in the region. He laid emphasis on the keen interest of the ECOWAS Commission in the success of the 6th WAOC because of the importance of the event in the development of agriculture and improvement of livelihoods in West Africa. Mr. Traoré on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission promised the support of the Commission towards the conference and encouraged organizers to put in their best for a fruitful event.

At the end of the virtual meeting, Mr Alain SY TRAORE appreciated the participants at the meeting for attending the event, despite the short notice. The Vice-Chair of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative in West Africa, Professor Davo Vodouhe Simplice also appreciated Mr Traoré and the ECOWAS Commission for the quality leadership and support for the development of organic and ecological agriculture in West Africa.

REPORT of the EOA Initiative West Africa & The FAO Regional Office for Africa (FAO-RAF) MEETING

Screenshot of the EOA-I RSC & FAO Africa virtual meeting

Screenshot of the EOA-I RSC & FAO Africa virtual meeting

The Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative’ (EOA-I) Regional Secretariat of West Africa under the able leadership of Mr Ernest Aubee of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission as a follow-up to the Thursday September 24, 2020 virtual meeting had a collaborative and interactive virtual meeting via Zoom with the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Africa and West African sub-region team. The meeting was aimed at reviewing the earlier meeting’ discussions between the FAO and the ECOWAS-led ecological agriculture projects, with a view of finding strong way forward to improving collaboration between the two teams on Friday, 7th May, 2021.

The Chairman, Regional Steering Committee (RSC) of Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative in West African, Mr Ernest Aubee thanked the participants for gracing the occasion. He believes the two parties are doing well in the domain of agriculture especially in agroecology sector and urged the participants at the virtual meeting to work closely for better collaboration in the West African region.

While welcoming the participants at the meeting, Dr Eugene Rurangwa on behalf of Robert Grey commended the efforts of all the participants. The Team appreciates the leadership of the ECOWAS Commission. He assured the FAO West African collaboration is keen to work with the EOA-I team. He introduced Mr Rene Sébastien who now replaces Dr Benoit Gnonlonfon. Mr Sebastien Regnaut thanked everyone and believes that the EOA Team can count on his collaborative efforts.

 

The Chairman of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative’ (EOA-I), Mr Ernest Aubee of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission thanks the participants for attending the meeting. Activities common to both parties were highlighted and possible areas of collaboration were also addressed. Seven participants took part in the virtual meeting. The meeting ended at 12:40 GMT.

4-Day Virtual Workshop on Harmonisation of Organic PGS Standards across West Africa and Regional Organic Trade Fair in West Africa (BioWest Fair)

The Regional Secretariat of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative in the region organised a 4-day virtual workshop on Harmonisation of Organic PGS Standards across West Africa and Regional Organic Trade Fair in West Africa (BioWest Fair) between 15 and 18 March 2021. About 60 participants from different countries of the ECOWAS-region and other parts of the world participated at the workshop listened and participated at general discussions related to the decisions taken at the General Assembly of the West African Organic Network that took place at the 5th West African Organic Conference hosted by Ghana in 2019 where stakeholders resolved that:

  1. There is the need for harmonization of organic agriculture standard (Participatory Guarantee System – PGS) in the region to facilitate regional trade of certified organic produce/products within the regions.
  2. The need for an annual regional trade fair in the region to improve marketing of organic produce and products in the region.

In addressing the above decisions, the West African Cluster of Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) is supporting the process by putting together a workshop to address both decisions. Although EOA is currently being implemented in four out of 15 countries in West Africa, the workshop has been opened to other stakeholders from all ECOWAS member states in the region.

At the end of the 4-day virtual workshop event, the outcomes greatly contributed to putting a draft copy of the Harmonised Organic Participatory Guaranty System Standards across West Africa and setting up a road map to the Regional Organic Trade Fair in West Africa (BioWest Fair). This greatly contributes to the development of Organic Agriculture in West Africa and the realization of the decision of the African Heads of States and Government on organic farming.

THE WEST AFRICAN EOA RSC INAUGURATES THE 6th WAOC REGIONAL PLANNING COMMITTEE

 

In preparation for the 6th West African Organic Agriculture Conference (WAOC) to be hosted by Burkina Faso, the ECOWAS Commission-led Regional Steering Committee of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative in West Africa under the chairmanship of Mr Ernest Aubee, of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission at its stakeholders’ virtual zoom meeting held on December, 1st 2020 set up the Regional Planning Committee (RPC) for the conference. The Committee is made up of fifteen (15) strategic regionally based stakeholder organizations in West Africa. This Committee shall accompany and serve as an advisory body to the Burkina Faso Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the 6th WAOC.

In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Regional Steering Committee of EOA in West Africa, Mr Ernest Aubee of the ECOWAS Commission brought the Goodwill message of the Commissioner of Agriculture Mr Sékou Sangaré of the ECOWAS Commission. He welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting. He reiterated the Commission’s firm support to the efforts of the Ecological Organic Agriculture in West Africa. To the host country of the 6th West African Organic Conference, the ECOWAS will not spare any assistance in making the event a memorable one. He also thanked the key stakeholders which through their various organisations are working towards a healthier and stronger ecological and organic agriculture systems in the region. He wishes the participants fruitful discussions and constructive deliberations.

The meeting was moderated by the Vice Chairman of the Regional Steering Committee, Prof Davo Vodouhe Simplice. The Secretary to the RSC, Dr AdeOluwa O. Olugbenga gave an historical perspective to the conference, while the Local Organising Committee chairman, Mr Sylvester Tiomtoré gave an update on the state of the organisation of the 6th conference. According to the update, the conference will take place between October 13th-16th, 2021 at Ouaga 2000’ International Conference Centre. At the end of the virtual meeting which aimed at inaugurating a Regional Planning Committee which will interface with the Local Organising Committee of the 6th Burkina Faso West African Organic Agriculture Conference (WAOC) in Burkina Faso, participants arrived at strong recommendations in order to have an efficient planning for the 2021 Burkina Faso Conference.

In preparation for the 2021 Burkina Faso 6th West African Organic Conference (WAOC), the Regional Steering Committee management team of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative’ (EOA-I) in West Africa under the able leadership of Mr Ernest Aubee of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission had a virtual  Zoom meeting on Friday 11th of July, 2020 with major stakeholders in Burkina Faso organic and ecological agriculture sectors to discuss the proposed West African Organic Conference regional event which is slated to hold in Burkina Faso.

The Regional Steering Committee Chairman, Mr Ernest Aubee welcomed the Burkina Faso stakeholders at the virtual meeting. In his welcome address, he brought warm greetings from the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission’ Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr Sékou Sangaré. He strongly louds the efforts put together by the country stakeholders and especially the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Housing, Mr Salifou Ouédrago for providing the region with an enabling environment for another ground-breaking event in Burkina Faso in 2021 after the 2019, 5th West African Organic Conference (WAOC) in Accra Ghana.

Prominent members of the Ecological Organic Agriculture (EOA) Initiative’ Regional Steering Committee (RSC) in West Africa under the chairmanship of Mr Ernest Aubee of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission and other organic and ecological agriculture major stakeholders from the West African Organic Network (WAfrONet) and Burkina Faso were equally in attendance.

The virtual meeting discussed among other critical issues; the lessons from of the 5th West African Organic Conference (WAOC) in Accra, Ghana, the Burkina Faso 2021 Local Organising Committee (LOC), the Terms of References (ToRs), updates on 2021 Burkina Faso, etc.

At the end of the meeting, the participants resolved that despite challenges here and there, the Burkina Faso organic and ecological agriculture stakeholders are making tremendous progress towards the planning of the 6th West African Organic Conference in Burkina Faso. The meeting had fruitful discussions and came up with constructive resolutions and recommendations for a successful 6th WAOC to be hosted by Burkina Faso in 2021.

 

 

 

The Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative’ (EOA-I) Regional Secretariat of West Africa under the able leadership of Mr Ernest Aubee of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) Commission organised the 4th Regional Steering Committee (RSC) virtual meeting to review the activities of EOA in West Africa on Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 April, 2020. The online meeting took place despite the Covid-19 pandemic causing lockdown of activities in many countries.

In attendance at the meeting were the Regional Steering Committee members of Ecological Organic Agriculture in West Africa, joined some strategic stakeholders of Organic Agriculture from Burkina Faso, Senegal and Ghana.

The virtual meeting was an opportunity to discuss critical issues in the region related to organic and ecological agriculture, such as; update on the West Africa EOA Regional Secretariat’ activities, update on EOA project implementation in Benin, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal, opportunities for extending EOA to other countries of West Africa, update on Organic Agriculture Knowledge Hub in West Africa, review of the 5th West African Organic Conference (WAOC) in Accra, Ghana, and update on 2021 Burkina Faso 6th West African Organic Conference (WAOC), etc.

In his welcome address, the EOA West Africa Regional Steering Committee Chairman, Mr Ernest Aubee welcomed the participants at the meeting. He expressed warm greetings from the ECOWAS’ Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Mr Sékou Sangaré. He laid emphasis on the need for a strong Ecological Organic Agriculture sector which he believes will enable the region to overcome the issue of food insecurity, environmental challenges and provide reliable alternatives to the current situation. He also addressed the Covid-19 pandemic issue which is seriously affecting the world in general and Africa in particular. He prayed that COVID 19 will soon be contained and brought under control. The Chairman of the occasion appreciated the Regional Secretariat for the efforts put in place and encouraged the implementing countries for their resilience in upholding organic agriculture in the region. He also thanked the participants of the virtual meeting and wished the Regional Steering Committee fruitful deliberations.

At the end of the two-day meeting, the participants at the 4th Regional Steering Committee meeting of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative had fruitful discussions which led to strong resolutions and recommendations.

Agriculture Biologique et écologique au cœur d’un atelier régional à Grand Pôpo au Bénin
Le Réseau Ouest Africain pour l’Agriculture Ecologique et Biologique a organisé à l’hôtel Bel Azur de Grand Pôpo au Bénin, un atelier sous régional de trois jours sur le thème «Agriculture Ecologique et Biologique : Etats d’avancement des activités en Afrique de l’Ouest »

Lumière sur quelques engrais liquides biologiques fabriqués par des béninois
Deux Béninois ont présenté deux engrais liquides biologiques fabriqués par eux-mêmes à L’alelier Ouest Africain sur l’Agriculture écologique et biologique
INTERVIEWS

Interview du Prof Simplice Davo Vodouhè sur l’Agriculture Ecologique et Biologique

Au cours de cet interview, le professeur, coordonnateur du Réseau Ouest Africain pour AEB, a fait la différence qui existe entre l’agriculture biologique et l’agriculture. Il a aussi présenté les objectifs et les résultats attendus de l’atelier. Cliquez ICI

Interview du Dr Ibrahima Seck sur les biens fondés de l’Agriculture Ecologique et Biologique

Dans cet entretien, Dr Seck a présenté l’initiative AEB et les conséquences de l’agriculture conventionnelle d’une part et a montré les biens fondés de l’Agriculture Ecologique et Biologique d’autre part. Cliquez ICI
COMMUNICATIONS
Six documents sont mis en ligne
  1. Ecological organic agriculture (eoa) initiative implementation in Nigeria : https://goo.gl/067YcE
  2. Présentation CLO Bénin : https://goo.gl/b2PYD2 
  3. Avancement pilier recherche benin : https://goo.gl/nYSU73
  4. Pilier1 N°1: Recherche –Formation/Vulgarisation du Mali :https://goo.gl/2anEX2
  5. Point des activités réalisées par le Pilier: Information et Communication Benin : https://goo.gl/FO7s4O
  6. Pilier recherche formation Sénégal : https://goo.gl/bg7fHB
IMAGES
Visualiser et Télécharger les images de l’atelier en cliquant sur ce lien : https://goo.gl/K3uLr0
ATELIER EN LIVE
Revivez les temps forts de cet atelier à travers des images, des petites vidéos (liées aux questions, aux présentations et aux témoignages des participants) et les courts textes en cliquant sur ce lien : https://goo.gl/xRU96V

Romuald DJEGBENOU (Msc)
www.casad-benin.org
+229 96 07 16 11
rdjegbenou@gmail.com
Coordonateur de l’équipe de social media reporting