Burkina Faso/Seed fair: Improved seeds to make up for shortages

Published on 26/05/2023 | La rédaction

Burkina Faso

The high mass of the world of agriculture and research opened this Thursday, May 25, 2023 in Ouagadougou, around the theme "Contribution of agricultural research results to the resilience of populations and the employability of young people and women: the case of improved seeds in the context of security and food crises". The opening ceremony was held under the patronage of the Prime Minister, represented by the Minister of State, Bassolma Bazié, accompanied by his colleagues from higher education, Adjima Thiombiano, and agriculture, Dénis Ouédraogo.

For four days (May 25 to 28, 2023), producers, farmers, technicians and researchers will rub shoulders on the issues that unite them, notably the question of seeds for agricultural production. During this 14th edition of the seed fair, the aim is to stimulate debate between producers, producer organizations, players in the national seed system and research on available improved varieties, itineraries, production techniques and training modules on improved seeds.

This is why discussions were already launched at the opening ceremony on May 25, because researchers who find what they're looking for can be found in Burkina. The results in terms of improved seeds are plentiful in the various laboratories, but the challenge remains their use and popularization among producers, said the world of research.

Bassolma Bazié, the Prime Minister's representative, was keen to point out that instructions have been given to research conservation methods and to set up workshops and processing units for agricultural products.

"You can't set aside the results of research and want to increase yields", he said.

In his speech, INERA Managing Director Dr Hamidou Traoré expressed the hope that the fair would contribute to the widespread use of seeds of improved varieties.In his speech, Dr Hamidou Traoré, INERA's Director General, expressed the hope that the fair would contribute to the widespread use of seeds of improved plant varieties by Burkina producers, thus contributing to the resilience of the population and job creation for young people and women.

The Minister for Agriculture, Dénis Ouédraogo, spoke of the potential of improved seeds in terms of yield, and how they can help to offset the loss of income caused by the massive displacement of populations.

As an example, he spoke of rice varieties that can reach 8 to 9 or even 10 tons per hectare, whereas the old varieties for the same space, we have 2 to 3 tons. "You can see the big difference: on the same surface area, you get 10 times more. You understand that there is a strong link between the use of improved seeds to increase agricultural production and food insecurity, since many people have been displaced and will not be able to farm", he asserted. According to him, those who will be able to do so, if they use improved seeds, will be able to compensate for production losses linked to the displacement of populations, and in turn increase production despite the difficult situation of insecurity that the country is experiencing.

With regard to producers' complaints about the lack of means to use improved seeds, the Minister invited them to make their own efforts, by purchasing improved seeds to make up for the shortfall in order to increase their yields.

This explanation is justified, according to the authority, by the fact that BF has around 4,000 seed producers, and the Ministry ensures their certification so that they meet standards, and people need to make the effort to buy quantities to supplement what the State grants them.

This fair, organized by the Institut de l'Environnement et des Recherches Agricoles (INERA), is an opportunity to highlight all that has been achieved in terms of improved seed varieties.This fair, organized by the Institut de l'Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA), is an opportunity to showcase all that has been achieved in terms of improved seed varieties from CNRST and university laboratories," said Adjima Thiombiano, Minister of Higher Education. One of the innovations of this year's event is to provide solutions to the current dilemmas between pastoral and human production.

In this respect, there are concrete results," he says. For example, there's a cowpea variety called "Teksoongo" in Mooré, which yields a ton and a half of grain for human consumption and four tons of fodder at the same time. The other example he mentioned was "Sebatimi", a combination of a strain with large, sweet stalks, and a specificity that makes it possible to produce one tonne and a half of grain for human consumption and four tonnes of fodder.Its specificity is that it produces an average of three tons of grain per hectare, and at the same time 10 tons of fodder. This means that the food and nutritional requirements of both humans and animals can be met from the same harvest.

The Minister for Higher Education concluded by pointing out that today's farmers and producers need to realize that they cannot ignore the results of research and still want high yields.

Source: lefaso.net

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