SHAWA II Workshop: GBioS hosted the activities

The Genetics, Biotechnology and Seed Science Unit (GBioS) hosted from May 22 to 24, 2024, around twenty stakeholders of the West African agricultural sector to develop a consortium theory of change in the context of agroecology and agrobiodiversity in West Africa. The workshop received financial support from Agropolis Fondation, CIRAD (Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement), AFSA (Alliance pour la souveraineté alimentaire en Afrique), COASP (Comité Ouest Africain pour les Semences Paysannes) and the Service de coopération et d’action culturelle du Bénin.

🎯 With a view to develop the SHAWA (Seed at the Heart of the Agroecological transition in West Africa) dynamic, West African actors (Benin, Senegal, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo) representing farmers’ organizations (ASPSP, AREJ, COASP-Mali, Mooriben, ORAD), non-governmental organizations (AFSA, ATODAD, COPAGEN, FIAN) and research institutions (CIRAD, ISRA, Université d’Abomey-Calavi ), worked over three days to harmonize their vision of farmer seed systems by 2040, and to agree on the strategies to be deployed to achieve the necessary changes.

Specifically, the first day of the workshop enabled participants to familiarize themselves with the Impress method developed by CIRAD and used to guide the workshop. They also had the opportunity to discover the GBioS Unit technical platforms and the work being carried out there. A highlight of the day was the presentation of a historical frieze on farmers’ seeds by Omoniyi Françoise AGBODJO, a PhD student in the 3rd year of her sociology thesis at Montpellier’s Paul Valérie University. The presentation set the scene and introduced the work, which combined plenary discussions, working groups and thematic presentations, including feedback on the participatory guarantee system applied to seeds (ATODAD’s SPG Bio Local – by Ousmane LABODJA ).

At the end of the workshop, participants agreed on a common vision and identified three key areas for change:
📌 public policy and advocacy,
📌 quality and guarantee of farmers’ seeds,
📌 network structuring and capacity building.
Clear strategies have been defined to obtain specific products and positive impacts in favor of peasant seed systems.

Stay tuned for more!

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