TOWARDS A SUCCESSFUL ORGANISATION OF THE 6TH WEST AFRICAN ORGANIC CONFERENCE IN BURKINA FASO

TOWARDS A SUCCESSFUL ORGANISATION OF THE 6TH WEST AFRICAN ORGANIC CONFERENCE IN BURKINA FASO

In preparation for the upcoming 2021 West African Organic Conference (WAOC) in Burkina Faso, top management of the ECOWAS-led Regional Planning Committee (RPC) and the Burkina Faso Local Organising Committee (LOC) met virtually with Mr Alain SY TRAORE, Director, Agriculture and Rural Development of the ECOWAS Commission on Thursday May 20, 2021.

It was an opportunity for the Director to have a first-hand interaction with the combined team of the representatives of the RPC and LOC of the 6th West African Organic Conference.

The virtual meeting was chaired by Mr Alain SY TRAORE. Professor Davo Vodouhe Simplice, ably stood in for Mr Ernest Aubee who was unavoidably absent due to official assignment. The meeting had in attendance nine (9) strategic members. The participants discussed among other issues; historical perspective of the West African Organic Conference (WAOC), feedback from the Burkina Faso LOC, funding alternatives and way-forward in respect to the Burkina Faso 6th WAOC.

In his welcome address, Mr Alain SY TRAORE welcomed everyone to the virtual meeting. He thanked and congratulated everyone whom through their various organizations are working for the success of the Conference and prayed for a healthier and stronger ecological and organic agriculture activities in the region. He laid emphasis on the keen interest of the ECOWAS Commission in the success of the 6th WAOC because of the importance of the event in the development of agriculture and improvement of livelihoods in West Africa. Mr. Traoré on behalf of the ECOWAS Commission promised the support of the Commission towards the conference and encouraged organizers to put in their best for a fruitful event.

At the end of the virtual meeting, Mr Alain SY TRAORE appreciated the participants at the meeting for attending the event, despite the short notice. The Vice-Chair of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative in West Africa, Professor Davo Vodouhe Simplice also appreciated Mr Traoré and the ECOWAS Commission for the quality leadership and support for the development of organic and ecological agriculture in West Africa.

The Association Meets In Ibadan

The Association Meets In Ibadan

The Association Meets In Ibadan

This year’s Annual General Meeting took place at First Bank Building of Faculty of Agriculture, University of Ibadan as against the agreed Abuja venue on March 23 and 24, 2021. It was a two day event and a hybrid of physical and virtual participation. The event had in discussion the road to the amendment of the long awaited proposed Association’s Constitution, with the addition of expanded Constitution Review committee members coming from representatives of each State Chapters. The meeting was chaired by Dr Sansi Jolaade, the Chairman, Oyo State Chapter of the Association, during her welcome address, she welcomed all from far and near and enjoined participants to enjoy Oyo State and Ibadan environment. Participants represented states such as Lagos, Abuja, Anambra, Ibadan, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Taraba, Kwara, Ebonyi, Osun, Ogun from both virtual and physical attendances.

Prof. V. I Olowe, in his Presidential address gave an overview of the of the 10 points agenda, the progress reports and the efforts made in ensuring mandates are fulfilled. He added that there is a new project (KCOA) sponsored by GIZ the Association is anchoring. There were series of suggestions and opinions harvested at both media (virtual and physical). The following decisions were taken at the event:

  1. The supposed electoral process was put on hold as a result of the need to perfect the contents of the present Constitution, they are to help pilot the course of the amendment before handing over to new hands, there is need for a working document as the election is hinged on it.
  2. Present members of the Executive Committee were agreed to proceed with their tenure for a period of one year pending the amendment of the Constitution, Mrs Oluyinka Odukoya, the General Secretary stepped down, making Dr. Jude C. Obi the nee General Secretary .
  3. The Constitution Review Committee is to be enlarged and this will contain representatives from each State Chapter, the ultimatum given was a month and in six from the time of the decision was given, the Association’s Constitution ought to have been in good shape afterwards.
  4. It was agreed that all State Chapters remit the proceeds from membership registration to the national, the National Finance officer will then do the proper remittance in the appropriate sharing formula.
  5. It was also debated and agreed that membership annual due for the student membership category be reviewed, #1000 levy was suggested and agreed.
  6. On the need to intensify advocacy on organic agriculture, it was agreed that Radio as a media platform be used in this course, as massive advocacy is needed.
  7. On IJOARD, the committee was dissolved, the new members of the committee will be constituted in due course.
  8. A motion to take the presentation of organic certification back to the review committee to work on was adopted.
  9. It was agreed that the next Annual General Meetings will hold at Abuja and Anambra State, par adventure Abuja is not able to host, Anambra will be the next point of call but both States are to follow that sequence.

It however evident that the Association is taking its quantum leap and also on the road to greater expansion and growth, this is as a result of the cooperative efforts of the Board of Trustee, Executive Committee, members of the Association at all categories willing to serve and members of staff of the Association at the National and State levels working in various capacities. New members are registering in their numbers and existing members paying their dues and making themselves available when their attentions are needed. A virtual participant, Dr Vide Adedayo reminded of the need to have conflicting opinions but it is only important that all see it as a road to development, Dr Jude C. Obi while taking the vote of thanks corroborate this by saying that rift should be translated into constructive argument and be seen as a way of building strength.

Workshop on The Multiplier Mapping for Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Dissemination Within KCOA Project

Workshop on The Multiplier Mapping for Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Dissemination Within KCOA Project

Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners

Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria in collaboration with National Federation For Organic Agriculture (FENAB) ,organizes a workshop on the Multiplier Mapping for Skills Acquisition and Knowledge Dissemination Within KCOA Project. The workshop was sponsored by KCOA (Knowledge Centre For Organic Agriculture in Africa) and had in attendance participants which included delegates from FENAB (National Federation For Organic Agriculture) viz: Mr. El Hadji Mandiaye Ndiaye, Mr. Abdourahmane Leye, Mr. Mouhamed Seck, the President of the Association, Pro. V.I.O. Olowe, the Country Cordinator, KCOA, Dr. Jude C. Obi, The Association’s PRO, Mr. Taiwo Oduola, trainees of the IFOAM-OI ToToT held on February 1-5, 2021. It was a day training and was bilingual (English and French Language). FENAB.

The purpose of the workshop was to develop a knowledge hub for Africa and to ensure that those trained between February 1 and 5, 2021 and other multipliers are built up to successfully disseminate relevant knowledge on organic agriculture to famers, famer associations, processors, marketers and consumers ,the multipliers were grouped into three viz: Primary Multipliers (M1): people with recognized diplomas, qualifications or training in the agricultural sector to build the capacity of other trainers and facilitators to support the dissemination and application of knowledge products for AB development. Secondary Multipliers (M2): are field practitioners trained by M1s from the KCOA project at their country level or by individuals with at least the same qualifications, NGO agents, partners or model leaders or producers and others who can appropriately support the dissemination and application of ABE knowledge products. Tertiary Multipliers: policy actors or opinion leaders who can support and sustain the project in advocacy, legislation and quality control for the dissemination and application of knowledge products along value chains in AB.

According to Mr. Mouhamed Seck, the program is also targeting youths and women as they play very important roles in the implementation of KCOA project. There were however, activities carried out in the course of the workshop which include deliberation on the Platform Profile Template where there was a discussion on the slogan, main features, the structure which bothers on the criteria for the content dissemination, the thematic focus on the KCOA website, which content do they disseminate and along which channel. The KCOA content database will be structured along FiBl categories. How the website will target users (multiplier). How the website will target users (multiplier). How the platform will build on existing knowledge (Reuse and improve) and collaborate with existing platforms? (Be collaborative ) The platform will also bridge the gap created by other platforms. KCOA will work with existing platforms, survey has been done and KCOA will fill the gap and compliment the work.

Thematic area will focus on the following viz: certification, soil health, funding and marketing. Participants were asked to filling out a form indicating the agrecological location they propose to train and how to achieve these aims, according to Mr. Mouhamed Seck, they are to enumerate the number of grassroots if and farming number of individual members (male and female), number of trainers on organic( male and female), needs for capacity build on organic agriculture. Mr. El Hadiji stated that the main objective of the project is the dissemination of indigenous and scientific knowledge and also train the trainers on indigenous and scientific knowledge. Different actors in organic agriculture,  those already in it and others in transition. After analyzing the two, we will categorize, they will then be classified into the three multipliers. These set of people (those trained in February 1-5) are the first set of people trained, they will go to train others.

Every trainer is going to train others, there is a relationship between the ToToT trainees and the workshop, in order to have a manual for the trainers, IFOAM will give the manual as they are one of the sponsors of the project, FENAB is also saddled with the responsibility of harmonizing these trainers. Mr. Abdourahmane Lere stated that before the platform, there is a process of collection, validation before putting on the platform, there is respect for intellectual properties. The information will be made accessible and will be in different languages, will be in media platforms. There will be a database for this information, afterwards there will be a KCOA interface. Though the platform belongs to FENAB, the application will be user friendly. There will be room for marketing of organic produce.

Mr. Lere thanked everyone including the President of the Association, members of the Association, the Country Coordinator and promised to continue to work with the Association.

IFOAM Partners With The Association in Training Knowledge Multipliers

IFOAM Partners With The Association in Training Knowledge Multipliers

The IFOAM –OI ToToT was organized by IFOAM

The IFOAM –OI ToToT was organized by IFOAM

The IFOAM –OI ToToT was organized by IFOAM in conjunction with Association of Organic Agriculture Practitioners of Nigeria, the training is under the sponsorship of the Knowledge Centre For organic Agriculture in Africa. The training was aimed to train team of trainers to allow proximity and wider reach to farmers at the grassroots. The shortlisted candidates for the training underwent twenty (20) levels of screening and were selected from the major geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The training took place at the Board Room of Bible Guest Hose, Samonda, Ibadan between February 1 and 5, 2021. The training was a hybrid of both virtual and physical participants in attendance with interludes of music, games, refreshments, reflections and excursion. The President of the Association, Prof. Victor Olowe, during the opening ceremony welcomed participants on behalf of the Association, he stated that the major aim is increase the capacity farmers from the grassroot, he also believes that the trainees will deliver at the end of the training and that the organisers have the tracking devices to monitor the trainees. Virtual trainers included Mr. Gupta Ashish, Francia Berger and Alexandra Joseph. Physical trainers were Dr Olugbenga AdeOluwa, Ms. Sola Sowemimo, Dr. Jude C. Obi, Dr. Olufemi Ayanfeoluwa.

Mr. Gupta in his opening remarks stated that there are three basic questions that need answers from the trainees, they are the “WHAT” which bothers on knowledge theory, “HOW”-Action skills and “WHY”- Reflection, he advised that participants should have the dream of being the first to beat the odds and that failing is part of learning.

In the course of the five days training, the trainees were grouped into five cafes, with each café engaging in group activities which included presentation on various issues in organic agriculture and business plans. Members of the café had a mock farming estate with conglomerate of support systems. These ideas generated a realistic and constructive probes from IFOAM Academy Manager, Mr. Gupta Ashish, the exercise stimulated restructuring and re-iteration of crucial organic agriculture standards ruled out. He analysed these standards and stated how realistic these projections are, he also advised that their farming practices should be done in such a way that they will be able to fit in with their counterparts globally.

The participants went on excursion to Ajibode Organic , Ibadan where they were able to see the activities, challenges including the pests control methods devised by the farmers and the need to tackle the issue of unavailability of ready markets for their perishable goods, they were also familiarized with the history of Ajibode Farm which has been in existence since 2010 but became a full-fledged organic farm in 2012.This excursion enabled them have a first-hand information on the various issues faced by the farmers.

Participants also made presentations with two persons nominated to be reflector and harvester, the reflector does a recap of the lessons learnt in the previous days of the training, harvesters on the hand documents the reflections made. The trainees will train farmers subsequently to multiply the knowledge acquired.