In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the national workshop was attended by 41 agroecological stakeholders involved in the Avaclim project. From 25 to 27 November, the implementing partner Association pour la Recherche et la Formation en Agroécologie (ARFA) facilitated working groups and plenary sessions to share experiences at the Notre Dame de Lorette centre.
Following an introductory speech by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of ARFA, Mr Mathieu Savadogo, the objectives of the workshop were presented to participants consisting of producers, associated scientific partners, support structures or representatives of implementing partners. Like the national workshops in the other Avaclim countries, these objectives are the acquisition of a better understanding of the project, the sharing of knowledge and experiences on agro-ecological initiatives and the analysis of common needs in terms of research, advocacy and communication.
Among the initiatives, there is the ARFA's initiative called "ecological market gardening”. The association operates in the north of the country, a region that has been badly affected by drought. In order to make up for the production deficit of the rain-fed agricultural campaigns, ARFA supports the reinforcement of off-season vegetable production. As total water control is an essential condition for off-season crops, ARFA is working to improve water management by setting up farmer trainers who, with the support of action research, ensure the dissemination of proven techniques in these fields (water-saving irrigation techniques, organic soil improvers and fertilisers and drilling)
The participants discussed ways to improve the policy environment for agro-ecology by identifying government actors, relevant institutions, communication channels and processes for creating or improving the agricultural policy framework. Thus, they identified the interest of advocating for agroecology to occupy a more important part of the national REDD+ strategy, or the opportunity to raise awareness on these issues during the National Farmers' Days (JNP)
Reflections also focused on the choice of indicators for evaluating initiatives, as well as on the obstacles to the wider and systematic scaling up of agroecology. It was above all a question of the need for communication, awareness-raising and popularisation of proven practices, but also of market development for eco-biological products and the promotion of youth entrepreneurship in favour of agro-ecology.