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KENE CONSEILS est une société d’études, de conseils, de formations et d’assistance au service du développement humain durable, notamment en matière de : Gouvernance et gestion des ressources naturelles ; Renforcement des capacités des acteurs de l’arène du développement ;
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Democratising Agricultural Research for Food Sovereignty in West Africa

Having adequate food is a basic human right. One vital step in making this human right a reality for all is to make agricultural research more democratic.

This is why I applaud the efforts described here to organise citizens’ juries and farmers’ assessments of agricultural research in West Africa. Such processes make a significant contribution to the key values of participation and ownership that are at the heart of democracy. They demonstrate the importance, relevance and coming of age of participatory approaches in agricultural development.

Agricultural research has never been more critical to achieving global food security than it is today. Firstly, as we have always done, we need research to maintain crop and livestock performance in the fields in our continual ‘arms race’ with rapidly-evolving insects and other pests – what agronomists refer to as ‘maintenance research’.

Secondly, and much more importantly, new research and new thinking will be indispensable as we adapt our farming to the challenges of climate change.

As we all know, it is the food-insecure regions and communities that will be the first to suffer from increasingly unpredictable and extreme weather
– from excessive rains to severe drought
– and from permanent climatic changes, such as a shift in rainfall patterns.