PROMOTION OF AGRICULTURAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: 100 YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS FROM MALI AT SCHOOL OF SONGHAI CENTRE (2)

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100 young entrepreneurs from training and agribusiness centres in Sakola and Kayes, in Mali, stayed from Friday, March 30th, 2018 to Wednesday, April 04th, 2018 at Songhai Regional Centre in Porto-Novo. During this period, they were initiated to a new way of farming, an environment friendly agriculture practices that applies authentic technologies.

From crop production and animal husbandry to renewable energies, including fish farming, agro-food processing, agroforestry and handicrafts, they covered most of the activities and no sector of activity has been left. This allowed the trainees to learn more about the techniques of production, breeding and biological plant protection, as well as the implementation of the integrated system in Songhai. For Ali Chiam, a student at the Sakola Agribusiness Training Centre in Mali, it is time for young Africans to become aware of the opportunities available to them through agriculture in Africa. Songhaï’s experience has also opened his eyes to a certain number of farming practices that respect nature and the environment and guarantee not only better production yields, but also better profit. Ali Chiam mentioned as an example, the system of mulching at Songhai which plays several roles: that of maintaining moisture in the soil to promote the action of a thousand of effective bacteria for the benefit of plants; this technique also keeps the carbon in the soil to further enrich it and limit the release of carbon dioxide into the environment. Ali Chiam will be supported by Ibrahima Dienta, from the same training centre, who stressed on the use of plastic mulch, the plastic mulch he discovered in Songhai. "At home, we do not have this technology," he says.

Now ambassadors of the Songhai Centre, those young Malian entrepreneurs have promised, at the end of their inspiration program on Wednesday April 04th, 2018, to put into practice all the knowledge received in order to address effectively the challenges that are imposed on them.

This inspiration program of a first group of 100 young Malians is part of the program of implementation of the project of setting up of training and incubation centres aligning in the Songhai values, and practices, already ongoing in Sakola and Kayes in Mali. It supports the Program of Decentralization and Reform of the Malian State (PADRE-GIZ). In this program, the Songhai Regional Centre is positioned as a partner for the training of young people to be recruited in both Centres.

BETTER PERFORMANCE OF MICRO ENTERPRISES: FAO MAKES TRAINERS TO BE TRAINED IN SONGHAÏ

site240 producers from 11 African countries have been taking a special capacity-building program since Wednesday, March 07, 2018 at Songhai Regional Center in Porto-Novo. It is in fact a training of trainers supported by FAO Headquarters in Rome, which "supports the efforts of beneficiary countries to create a network of trainers that can promote the performance of micro and small businesses owners, as well as cooperatives in the agricultural sector ".

For 3 weeks, participants from Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Chad and Zambia will receive at Songhai Center, technical, moral and organizational knowledge that will help them pursue their mission with greater efficiency and convincing results. According to Jean Adanguidi, representing FAO during the official ceremony launching the training, the participants were selected on the basis of their experience, their motivation, but above all, their deep desire to share the new knowledge acquired, with other producers in their area.

For these leaders of large agricultural groups in their country, the training in Songhai is an important melting pot of exchange and sharing of experiences. With all his titles and honors, - Chairman of Cooperative, SRI Champion (System of Rice Intensification) in West Africa and Côte d’Ivoire, Excellence Award for Best Producer of Côte-d'Ivoire, Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit ... - Yao Kouakou Marcel hopes to get the most out of this training, through exchanges between animators in the sections, but also between themselves, producers selected for this program. He then thanked the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Songhai Center for the opportunity offered to them, to forge links between producers from several countries and especially to set up " a network of champions, leading producers ", not only to ensure the transfer of skills in their respective regions, but also to join forces to reach larger markets. They will contribute to the implementation of the Malabo Declaration for "shared prosperity and improved livelihoods, especially for the benefit of youths and women, so that all can have a better life".

On his part, Charlemagne Sintondji, representing the Director of Songhai Center on the occasion of this launching ceremony, assured FAO of the choice of the training framework; Songhai remains this UN-recognized "Center of Excellence" and continues to train youths for jobs that fit the realities of today's world and even the future.

This training of trainers session is scheduled to end on March 28, 2018.

AGRICULTURAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: YOUTHS FROM ECOWAS ON TRAINING IN SONGHAI

373 youths from ECOWAS member-countries have been taking since January 13, 2018, a training in agricultural entrepreneurship at Songhai Regional Center in Porto-Novo. It’s an initiative of ECOWAS Youths and Sports Development Center (CDJS), in partnership with Songhai Center, since 2006, for the capacity-building of the youths in agriculture.

73 trainees out of 75 expected, representing 13 of the 15 member-states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). These are the statistics of the 2017 edition of the agricultural entrepreneurship training organized for the benefit of the youths through the Youths and Sports Development Center (CDJS). "An unprecedented mobilization," says the CDJS Youth Program Manager, Gustave Bayi Néya, referring to the number of participants to this 11th edition of the program, noting that the training planned for October 2017 could not be held in time for administrative reasons. For the participants, Gustave Bayi Néya recalled the main objective they should pursue: Learn, understand and learn even more to strengthen the organizational capabilities of their businesses. Any other objective, according to the representative of CDJS, could be a "dangerous deviation" for all the actors involved in the implementation of this program.

To avoid this, the rule imposed on all trainees in Songhai is discipline. The Head of Training recalled it at the official launching of this program, on Saturday, January 13, 2018. Justin Lèkoto told the youths that discipline is the key word of the training in Songhai and that they cannot retain anything concrete to significantly impact development in their country, without complying with this rule. He took the opportunity to unveil the different phases of this training, namely the discovery (of Songhai Center), the specialization (trainees in a given activity), and the defense of the business plans by the trainees, under the coaching of trainers. In short, for the one-month that this 11th edition of the capacity-building program will last, these youths from ECOWAS countries - with the exception of Cape Verde and Sierra Leone who have not been represented - will have mainly to consolidate their knowledge in gardening, fish farming, animal husbandry, agroforestry and agrofood processing. The term of the training is set for Monday, February 12, 2018.

FAO MULTI-PARTNER PROGRAM IN CÔTE-D’IVOIRE: BENEFICIARIES EQUIPPED WITH CASSAVA PROCESSING TECHNIQUES IN SEVERAL OTHER PRODUCTS IN SONGHAI

In Côte-d’Ivoire, women processors of cassava have benefited from the support of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to improve and diversify their production activities. Thanks to the Multi-Partner Programs (FMM) of the organization, they have been equipped with cassavaprocessing techniques in various products and the valorization of by-products derived from this processing. The training provided by Songhai Regional Center is in two phases; a first one on the farm of Songhai Center in Porto-Novo, Benin and the second one in several cities of Côte-d’Ivoire.

At Songhaï Ouando in Benin, seven (07) women, representing different female groups processing cassava into Attiéké in Côte-d'Ivoire, stayed from 21st to 25th August 2017. The stay helped them to learn more on the production process of other cassava-based products such as gari, tapioca, starch, and areas in which cassava flour can be used. They also learned how to use cassava processing by-products in animal nutrition or biogas production, and how to control the acidity in attiéké. Léance Affoué Koffi, as a specialist in Attiéké production in Côte-d'Ivoire, said that she received some more knowledge in this area. The Secretary General of Cassava Women Processors Association of Yamoussoukro knows from now on how to prepare ''mangnan'' (fermented cassava) to control the level of acidity of attiéké. In the same way, Marie-Jeanne Kramo also knows which activity to start first to diversify her sources of income. The manager of the cassava platform of Bouaké is determined to embark on the production of gari and initiate the seventeen (17) villages that she is training in this activity.

During this training, emphasis was placed on the process of industrial production while ensuring quality. The beneficiaries also learnt the use of machines in the cassava processing chain. Whether it is the grinding machine, the double screw press used to press the ''mangnan'' and the Calibrator-reamer to obtain well rolled attiéké grains and the desired size, these different machines have no secret for these women leading various women associations in Côte d'Ivoire. "This training was important for them as they found themselves in an environment that allowed them to broaden their vision, have more entrepreneurial ideas, diversify their sources of income” said the agri-food and nutrition specialist from the FAO headquarters in Rome supervising this program.

The phase in Côte d'Ivoire

Indeed, the goal of FMM projects implemented in eight (08) African countries is to help women involved in the value chain, diversify their production and have access to a wider market, therefore providing them with technical assistance and support for the formulation of policies that reduce the barriers they often encounter. The acquisition of Songhai-made improved cassava processing equipment is also in this line. Thus, after Songhai in Porto-Novo - Benin, a series of other training sessions in several cities in Côte d’Ivoire followed. Therefore two technicians from Songhaï Center stayed from 20th September to 6th October 2017, in Yamoussokro, Grand Lahou, Bouaké, Dabou, Adzopé, San Pédro and Tankesse, to ensure the transfer of technologies to a large number of women processors and a few craftsmen, in the manufacture and use of these machines. Like their heads at Songhai Center in Porto-Novo, these women processors of the above-mentioned cities were also trained and sensitized on management techniques, valorization of cassava by-products and hygiene rules.

"This is a great boost for us," acknowledges LéanceAffoué Koffi, who is already seeing the quality and quantity of production of attiéké multiplied by tenfold in her association. While thanking FAO for its initiative, Marie-Jeanne Kramo Akissi, met on the field in Côte d’Ivoire, wished that, after the machines, FAO also helps them "import" from Songhai the biogas production technology.

REPLICATION OF SONGHAÏ MODEL IN UGANDA: YOUTHS FROM UGANDA BEING TRAINED IN PORTO-NOVO

Ouganda Nov 2017A group of twelve Ugandan youths sent by their Government are on training in Songhai Center in Porto-Novo since Monday, November 6th. The best of them, who will be empowered after this training, on the site of Songhai Center at Kampiringisa in Uganda.

The replication of Songhai Green Rural City Model in Uganda has indeed entered its active phase. Last August, a mission of Songhaï Center officials was in Uganda for a visit to the site which will host the development model in Kampiringisa in Uganda. A few weeks later, a joint delegation of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Ugandan Ministry of Labor, carried out a study visit to Songhai in Porto-Novo and Savalou. The discovery of the development model based on agriculture then convinced them very quickly of the need to reproduce it in their country. Madam Mukwaya Janat Baluno, Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Affairs then promised, during her stay in Porto-Novo, to send young Ugandans for training…

Out of thirteen (13), twelve (12) could actually make the trip. They were welcomed by the Training Team and the Project Replication Coordinator in Songhai, who spoke to them about the Center's rules and regulations. Among other principles discussed were discipline, rigor and punctuality, which they will have to follow during the two months that will spend for the training. It was also an opportunity for Charlemagne Sitondji, the project coordinator in Songhai, to remind them of the importance of this training: the best among them will be recruited and empowered on the Songhai-Uganda site to continue the work started by technicians sent from Porto-Novo. Already, two of them were dispatched at the beginning of this month of November to start crop and animal production activities.

Contact Us

CENTRE SONGHAI REGIONAL
Route de Ouando
Porto-Novo (République du Bénin)
01 BP 597 Porto-Novo
Tél : +229 60 93 33 34 / 62 52 92 80
Fax : +229 20 24 72 50

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