Burkina Faso’s Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI) recently hosted the 14th edition of the National Forum for Scientific Research and Technological Innovation (FRSIT) in Ouagadougou from October 24 to 28, 2023. The theme of the meeting was the contribution of scientific research and innovation to sustainable solutions in response to humanitarian challenges in Africa.

CORAF took an active part in this event, providing an ideal opportunity to showcase advances in technology and innovation developed over the last ten years.

Despite the financial challenge of research, CORAF highlighted its role in scaling up agricultural technologies, in collaboration with partners such as Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT, the Swiss Cooperation and the World Bank, among others.

At this event, CORAF adopted an offensive approach by showcasing its agricultural technologies and innovations, going beyond traditional distribution channels. The aim was to make these advances in technology and innovation accessible to small-scale producers and processors of agricultural products.

The event was also marked by presentations from CORAF, highlighting several agricultural technologies generated by the Regional Center of Excellence for Fruit and Vegetables and the Regional Center for Aquaculture Specialization in Nigeria. These technologies include improved cassava and sweet potato varieties, fish processing techniques, and the valorization of cotton stalks.

This meeting aroused a strong interest among agricultural experts and young students who came to this meeting of exchange and sharing.

An important part of the session was devoted to the strategy of scaling up agricultural technologies, covering mechanisms such as the creation of online and physical markets (MITA), the sharing of technology packages, the registration of improved seed varieties in the regional catalog, and the establishment of solidarity seed fairs.

A panel discussion featuring industry experts explored challenges and sustainable actions to accelerate the scaling-up of agricultural technologies in the face of climate change. Key points included the need to strengthen regulatory frameworks, adapt technologies to the needs of small-scale producers, and foster collaboration between agricultural stakeholders.

In conclusion, CORAF, with the support of its partners, continues to play a central role in the promotion and scaling-up of agricultural technologies in West and Central Africa. The event provided an opportunity to showcase innovative solutions and facilitate discussion on current issues facing the agricultural sector.