10) Senegal Prime Minister supports new partnerships to tackle food security in the region

Dakar, Senegal (9 April 2013) – A stronger and more dynamic regional and international research-for-development partnership in agriculture is the way forward for advancing food security and poverty reduction in the drylands.

“Our agriculture must be able to feed our people, and at the same time provide solutions to the problem of unemployment in our country. Agricultural development and food security is a priority of our government, and we need your support on this more than ever,” said Prime Minister of Senegal, Abdoul Mbaye.

Senegal Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye (left) with Dr Poole and Dr Dar.

“We want to use science-based solutions for agricultural growth to create opportunities for employment, as well as to cope with the changing climate conditions. Your work with our national institutes on cereals and legumes has contributed much in increasing and diversifying sources of incomes for our people,” added the Prime Minister.

Highlighting the importance of research partnership in view of current agricultural challenges, Senegal’s Minister of Agriculture, Abdoulaye Baldé, said: “We are about to modernize our agriculture. We need a more effective system of research and dissemination of agricultural technologies. This is a priority for the government of Senegal and we are committed to work together with ICRISAT towards achieving this goal.”

Senegal Prime Minister Mbaye and Agriculture Minister Baldé both expressed commitment to a stronger and more dynamic research-for-development partnership during a courtesy visit by the Governing Board members and officials of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on 9 April.

The ICRISAT delegation led by Dr Nigel Poole, ICRISAT Governing Board Chair, together with Dr William Dar, Director General; Dr S Ayyapan, Vice-Chair of the Board; and Dr. Farid Waliyar, Regional Director for West and Central Africa (WCA), met with the Senegalese officials as part of the week-long activities related to ICRISAT’s 68th Governing Board meeting being held in Dakar, Senegal from 6 to 10 April.

"The organization of ICRISAT’s Governing Board meeting here in Dakar is a strong sign of the vitality of relationship between ICRISAT and Senegal, particularly through the Senegalese Institute for Agricultural Research (ISRA),” noted Dr Poole.

“We are at a stage of elevating our partnerships in the region through the implementation of the CGIAR Research Programs, in which ISRA will play a significant role,” said Dr Dar. A long-time partner of ICRISAT, ISRA will be actively involved in the implementation of the ICRISAT-led CGIAR Research Programs on GrainLegumes and on DrylandCereals. ICRISAT is a member of the CGIAR Consortium.

A discussion on south-south cooperation between India and Africa and other new partnership opportunities for agricultural development was also discussed during the visit.

"There are similarities between Indian and African climates where a major part of the population consumes cereals such as millet and sorghum, and grain legumes such as groundnuts. Working with ICRISAT to develop varieties adapted to both Indian and African conditions is the key,” noted Dr Ayyapan, who is also Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

The visit was capped with Prime Minister Mbaye’s expression of full support to the new, emerging partnerships to tackle food security and poverty reduction in the region, particularly to the revitalized ICRISAT-Senegal collaboration and the new partnership dynamics under the CGIAR Research Programs.

For media enquiries, contact: Showkat Nabi Rather, Media Liaison Officer, +91 40 3071 3187, R(dot)Showkat(at)cgiar(dot)org. or Cristina P Bejosano, Head, Media Relations and Science Writing, Tel: +91 40 30713236, C(dot)Bejosano(at)cgiar(dot)org
by ICRISAT. All rights reserved.