It is on the shores of the magnificent and famous Pink Lake that the national knowledge-sharing workshop for Senegalese agroecology stakeholders took place on 23 and 24 November 2020. The meeting, part of the Avaclim project, brought together more than 47 participants from all over the country.
Through this national workshop organised by Avaclim's implementing partner in Senegal, Environnement Développement Action pour la Protection Naturelle des Terroirs (Enda Ponat), the participants , made up of the steering committee of the Dynamique pour une Transition Agroécologique au Sénégal (DyTAES) and the leaders of agroecological initiatives, shared their experiences, analysed the needs they have in common and learned about the five Senegalese initiatives selected for the project.
Among the latter, there is the initiative of the mayor of the commune of Ndiob, Mr. Oumar Ba, an actor convinced of the interest of an agro-ecological transition, who has started very diverse actions with the aim ofincreasing the self-sufficiency, resilience and self-management of the community. To achieve this, the initiative has set up a joint village committee that is responsible for decision-making on the actions to be carried out in the commune. In this way, the community has promoted the dissemination of organic fertilisers, traditional techniques for restoring ecosystems, the completion of a solar power plant and the future establishment of a processing unit for local cereals and groundnuts. All of these initiatives are conducive to job creation and food sovereignty for the local population
During the two days of discussions, participants highlighted the importance of the Dynamics for the Agroecological Transition in Senegal (DyTAES)A platform that brings together and coordinates the actors of agro-ecological projects grouped into communities of practice at the territorial level. The TaFAé is one of the communities of practice which, moreover, presented at the workshop a mapping of initiatives by agroecological stakeholders in Senegal. In addition to this communication tool, which provides visibility to actors involved in agro-ecology, participants identified other mechanisms for strengthening communities of practice, such as the organisation of events open to the public.
The working groups of the workshop also agreed on the importance of promoting participatory action research that includes farmers in all stages and takes into account the specific needs of local people and endogenous knowledge. Among the agroecological performance evaluation indicators to be prioritised according to agroecological practitioners are the stakeholder motivation factor, market access or the level of agroecological knowledge
The deployment of agro-ecology on a national scale can only be made possible through the real involvement of government actors. In spite of the strong commitment expressed by President Macky Sall, efforts to implement concrete actions must continue. The participants drew up a long list of recommendations to state institutions. These include training and support for young people with agro-ecological projects, raising awareness among local authorities, subsidising biopesticides and biofertilisers, funding research to provide more evidence of the effectiveness of agro-ecology, and supporting family farms that can feed the country and are recognised as the leading investors in Senegal