International Training Workshop on “Addressing Challenges of Food Security in the Sahel”

Date:  15-19 May 2023.
Venue: AGRHYMET Regional Centre, Niamey, Niger

Organized by COMSTECH in collaboration with CILSS, ICESCO, and IoFS

The Workshop is organized by the Ministerial Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) of the Organization of Islamic Organization (OIC), in collaboration with Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), Islamic World Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), and Islamic Organization of Food Security (IoFS).

Convened by: COMSTECH Forum for Environment and Ecosystem Restoration (CFEER)

Introduction

Global demand for food continues to grow as world population is rising. Meanwhile, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) more than 820 million people across the world are suffering from hunger as of 2021. This is against the backdrop of the drastic impacts on agricultural lands. IPCC estimates that agricultural land productivity has decreased by 21% due to high temperatures and extreme rainfalls.

Climate change impacts have adversely impacted the agriculture sector. Food insecurity is increasing. It is important that there should be greater focus on the need to enhance agricultural productivity, develop resilient agriculture, reduce food loss and waste and undertake measures to find solutions for promoting sustained food security.

Food Crisis in the Sahel

Sahel region of West Africa is currently facing an unprecedented food and nutrition crisis. Sahel has cycled into periods of famine from unstable agriculture caused by drought. If appropriate measures are not taken, hunger and malnutrition could affect more than 38 million people.

Deteriorating food situation is caused by multiple factors including climate change, land degradation, conflict, and impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. High food prices, conflict and displacement have driven millions of people into acute hunger and malnutrition. Border areas of central Sahel and Lake Chad are most affected. Largest number of people facing emergency levels of food shortages are in -Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali and Niger- according to the UN.

Food security crisis in the Sahel is expected to be a protracted one. Over 60 percent of the population in the Sahel is aged 25 or younger, making it is critical to address the region’s food crisis, so that the next generation can survive and thrive.

The unprecedented food crisis in the Sahel offers the opportunity to address the root causes of food insecurity and to develop food and agricultural systems that are less dependent on external shocks by strengthening local agriculture to be more productive. Hence, it is imperative to improve food systems and resilience to prevent recurrence of food insecurity episodes.

Potential Solutions

Potential solutions to combat food insecurity include actions that are generating jobs and raising incomes in food systems; building effective early warning systems, and capacity for prevention of crop and livestock pests and diseases; and improving agricultural markets and natural resource management.

Climate-Smart Agriculture activities include increasing food production and enhancing food system resilience to climate change. Additional measures could include adoption of sustainable land and water management practices, agricultural technologies to drought tolerant crop varieties, improving post-harvest management practices, adoption of resilient agricultural technologies and drought-tolerant crop varieties.

Objectives of the Training

The objective of the training is to focus on sustainable solutions to combat food insecurity and malnutrition. Major challenges of food security will be addressed for concerted efforts to establish sustainable food systems. It will empower policy makers to make better decisions on adopting agro-ecological practices and sustainable actions to improve agricultural productivity.

Deliverables of the Workshop

The training modules will include:

  • Sustainable Use of Water Resources
  • Enhanced Agriculture Productivity
  • New Breeding Technologies
  • Climate Smart Agriculture

Outcomes

Sahel region is suffering from decreased yields and weather events such as drought and desertification. The workshop aims to enhance resilience of small-scale food producers shift to climate resilient agriculture, adoption of native resilient crops, achieve higher productivity, minimize waste across the agricultural value chain, adoption of technological solutions to have higher productivity of crops and reduce reliance on imported food.

Target Audience

The workshop will target trainees from OIC member countries of CILSS dealing with agricultural matters, and members of farming communities.

Workshop is proposed for five days. Three days of lectures, hands on training and interactive sessions followed by two days of consultations and field visits.

Training workshop is an imitative of COMSTECH Forum for Environment and Ecosystem Restoration (CFEER) to foster knowledge and experience sharing, good, practices develop partnerships among scientist, academics, researchers and capacity building programs on issues relating to climate change and ecosystem restoration.

List of OIC Member Countries of CILSS

  1. Benin
  2. Burkina Faso
  3. Chad
  4. Ivory Coast
  5. Gambia
  6. Guinea
  7. Guinea – Bissau
  8. Mali
  9. Mauritania
  10. Niger
  11. Senegal
  12. Togo

Travel & Local Hospitality

The organizers will provide accommodation and meals for selected participants from OIC member countries of CILSS. Travel grants are not available. Airport pick- and- drop service on arrival and departure will be provided to all international participants upon prior information.

Registration Process

Step 1: Open online registration form: https://forms.gle/Wp2wV5ugwC4SPZ6p8

Step 2: Open Physical registration form: https://forms.gle/RfN8XVy4s5q6ZTwe9

Step 3: Read instructions in the application form carefully and submit a properly filled form along with your CV. Foreign participants must submit a scanned copy of passport.

Step 4: Selected candidates will be notified through email; hence, applicants are required to check their emails regularly.

Workshop Coordinator 
Mr. Muhammad Haris Akram
Programme Manager, COMSTECH             
Email: haris@comstech.org

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