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West African Workshop on Farmer-Led Research & West Africa Farmer Innovation Fair

A West African workshop on approaches to farmer-led research and a West Africa Farmer Innovation Fair (FIPAO in French: Foire de l’Innovation Paysanne en l’Afrique de l’Ouest) will be held on 12–16 May 2015 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Following in the spirit of the International Year of Family Farming in 2014, the workshop and fair will put the spotlight on farmers’ creativity and their roles in participatory research. It aims to intensify linkages and learning among all actors involved in agricultural research and development related to smallholder family farming. The FIPAO follows the example of the Eastern Africa Farmer Innovation Fair held in Nairobi, Kenya, in May 2013 and will provide a showcase for about 50 West African farmer innovators to exhibit their achievements.

The learning-and-sharing workshop on farmer-led research (12–14 May) will involve primarily staff from field-based organisations that are facilitating such approaches in francophone West Africa. From their various experiences, the workshop will distil key messages about research and development by smallholders and will share these messages with farmer innovators, development practitioners, formal scientists, policymakers and the general public visiting the fair (15–16 May). 

If you want to learn more about the workshop and fair (in French), click here.

Next to these two events, the Centre for Technical and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is sponsoring a special contest for video documentation of farmer innovation in the face of climate change, in addition to the many other farmer innovations being exhibited at the fair. Video-makers from Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin are now discussing video scenarios together with farmer innovators, community-based organisations, policymakers and other stakeholders. One video film per country will be screened at the fair to show the added value of farmers’ innovativeness to cope with climate change.

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