Science at work 19 September 2023
West Africa - Dry Zone
Increased cooperation in the Sahel
CIRAD's involvement in several platforms in partnership for research and training (dPs) and international joint laboratories (IJLs) structures our scientific and gepartnership strategy in the region. To strengthen longstanding partnerships and promote their shared ambition of working towards the objectives of the Sahel Alliance Sahel, CIRAD, national agricultural research organizations in the Sahel countries and regional institutions such as the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD) and WASCAL (Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) signed the Ouagadougou Declaration on 21 September 2018. CIRAD also works with other regional organizations in the fields of research (CGIAR, Centre International de recherche-développement sur l’élevage en zone subhumide [CIRDES], Institut international d'ingénierie de l’eau et de l’environnement [2iE], etc) and public policy (West African Economic and Monetary Union [UEMOA], Economic Community of West African States [ECOWAS], etc.) to support development operations in the Sahel. Lastly, it collaborates with universities on research and training activities. The CIRAD Regional Office for West Africa - Dry Zone covers part of the Sahel, ie eight countries.
Main research fields
- Pastoralism, a viable, sustainable production system.
- Rural land tenure, involvement of local people and public policy support.
- Animal health, local and cross-border animal disease and zoonosis control.
- Ecological intensification of cropping systems.
- pest and disease control.
- Forest resource management.
- Food and nutrition security, informing and supporting public players.
- Organic matter recycling to produce energy and fertilizers for periurban and rural areas.
- Food crop genetic improvement, adaptation to drought.
- Supplying agrifood SMEs with bioenergy.
- The impact of climate risk on agricultural production and forecasting.
- Local agricultural and food product processing and promotion.
- Development of irrigation.
- Strengthening of innovation systems.
Emblematic projects and platforms in partnership for research and training
CIRAD is involved in 80 action research projects in the region, five platforms in partnership (dPs) and two international joint laboratories (IJLs). The map shows the countries where there are major projects and dPs, but does not show specific sites.
- 41 expatriate researchers
- 5 platforms in partnership
- 170 missions per year
- 80 projects
- 50 PhD students supervised
Some key projects
CIRAD is coordinating or participating in six projects in the Sahel resulting from the first call under the EU DeSIRA (Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture) programme. Those projects will be conducted in West Africa and cover agroecology (FAIR Sahel), pastoralism (ACCEPT), climate disruption (CaSSECs), bioenergies (Biostar), irrigation (IRRINN) and varietal breeding (ABEE).
For more than a decade, CIRAD has been supporting players in the dairy sector in the Sahel, from producers to the authorities through industry and NGOs. A look at how CIRAD is contributing to the changes under way in the region: improving collection capacity, supporting dairy policy, building local skills, and so on.
Platforms in partnership for research and training
CIRAD is a member of five platforms in partnership for research and training (dPs).
Agro-silvo-pastoral Systems in West Africa - dP ASAP
How can we work with farmers in West Africa to design innovative, intensive and ecologically-friendly crop-livestock systems?
This dP aims to make agriculture in West Africa more productive and sustainable, by means of ecological intensification. It was set up in 2009, is based in Bobo-Dioulasso and involves partners from five countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory Coast, Benin and France).
Pastoralism and Drylands in West Africa - dP PPZS
Understanding pastoral systems and working to develop them and integrate them into national economies
This dP aims to improve pastoral resource management and the economic performance of pastoral livestock production, to benefit rural development.
Innovation and Plant Breeding in West Africa - dP IAVAO
Rethinking plant breeding programmes by addressing the diversity and complexity of farming systems and demand for varieties
This dP conducts innovative varietal breeding programmes in response to the complexity of agroecological systems in West Africa.
Biological Diversity and Agroecological Systems. Soil and Crop Health - dP DIVECOSYS
How can we make use of biological and organic processes and resources to design sustainable practices?
This dP works to foster crop and associated diversity and encourage biomass recycling to boost soil biological activity and fertility, and to mobilize biological interactions propitious to natural pest regulation.
Information for Food Security in West Africa - dP ISA
This dP analyses long-term food security trends in West Africa, to pinpoint levers of action for public policy.
International joint laboratories
CIRAD is also a partner, with IRD, in two international joint laboratories (IJLs).
- Laboratoire mixte international sur les maladies à vecteurs - LAMIVECT
This laboratory federates research, control and training players within a hub centring on vector-borne diseases that affect humans and animals (One Health).
- Intensification écologique des sols cultivés en Afrique de l’Ouest - IESOL
This researchers and teacher-researchers around studies of soil bio-functioning, with the aim of designing sustainable cropping system intensification strategies based on ecological engineering.
Teaching and training
We are heavily involved in organizing Masters and PhD schools and courses, and contribute to teaching activities. We provide several hundred hours of teaching a year for universities, either in the classroom or for e-learning. We also offer bespoke vocational training.
CIRAD works with the following training providers:See also: Teaching and training