Hélène et Thomas Chassaing fr / en

Can Africa feed Africa? Yes!


"Can Africa feed Africa ?" Yes !!! The question that calls for this emphatic response can be read at the top of the large poster fixed to the wall of the Centre for Africa Rice Research in NDyaye, in north St Louis, Senegal.

Here are the 6 points set out by the authors of the poster: "But we must: 1. Devote a sizable budget to the agricultural sector. 2. Invest more in agricultural research. 3. Develop systems of irrigation and improve the management of water. 4. Develop base infrastructures and access to markets. 5. Raise productivity through the implementation of improved technologies. 6. Give rural farmers easier access to materials (seeds, fertilizer, small machinery)."

During the 8 months that I traveled by bicycle throughout Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso, I found along the way a variety of agricultural research groups, public and private. I conscientiously stopped at each one and managed to meet with the researchers and, as far as possible, take pictures (a press card or support from some institution would have been helpful in many cases).

If I may, in addition to the 6 measures mentioned, I would like to talk about three points that seem essential to me. The conditions necessary for rural farmers to raise their heads lie in the construction of local, regional and national producers organizations and that these organizations be recognized as valuable partners by the whole of the society. There will be no agricultural politics without having the rural producers at the table.