In Cultivalia Senegaal we believe that science should be at the public service, and its main objective should be to improve people’s lives. For this reason, we work with universities and public research centers looking for synergies that allow us to develop our mission more effectively.
For the past four years, we have maintained a partnership with the Institut Supérieur de Formation Agricole et Rurale (ISFAR), part of the Alioune Diop University. This training center, located in Bambey, welcomes and prepares engineers and technical engineers in agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry. In addition, they conduct applied research, always seeking to solve the problems faced by farmers and livestock breeders in the region. In 2019 we signed a collaboration agreement that has allowed us to formalize this collaborative relationship.
This agreement allows us to carry out several relevant actions, such as field experiments to improve agricultural practices or determine which are the most appropriate varieties. Currently, the most important program in collaboration with ISFAR is the one that offers support and accompaniment for farmers and ranchers. As part of their final year practical project, engineering students spend six weeks in the villages where we work (Nguéniène, Ndianda and Ndoffane). During this time, they visit the field with farmers and livestock farmers and establish an eminently practical training, advising and proposing the best courses of action in each specific case. This program has started during this year 2020.
The student M. Ibrahima TRAORÉ accompanied for six weeks the poultry producers of the communities of Nguéniène, Ndianda and Ndoffane. The report he subsequently submitted, which enabled him to qualify for an engineering degree, helped Cultivalia Senegaal staff and women’s associations to identify patterns – for example, a large majority of livestock farmers are women, unschooled, and the main animal in the production systems is the chicken – and to propose solutions that would improve the performance of these farms – such as improving vaccination rates against Newcastle disease. The student stayed with a family in Nguéniène and established a close bond with Dinisse Sylva, Cultivalia’s project coordinator, and the beneficiaries. In return, Cultivalia Senegaal financed a grant to enable him to carry out this stay and write his working report.