Making agriculture sustainable in West Africa

Ohio State has received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Higher Education for Development (HED) to help make agriculture in Senegal more sustainable.

The partnership between Ohio State and Senegal’s Université Gaston Berger calls for the creation of an agro-ecology program for sustainable food production, addressing the severe environmental degradation in the fragile African Sahel region and developing the emerging irrigated fruit and vegetable export industry in northern Senegal. This program will involve the development of comprehensive associate and bachelor degrees and use of e-education technologies.

“We expect to have all 17 UGB faculty come to OSU to work with our faculty, to receive training and develop curriculum,” Dick explained. “Also, OSU faculty will go to Senegal to offer short courses on the land-grant model and professional faculty development. Our goal is to assist them develop one of the premier agricultural programs for Africa, so that they will in turn improve Senegal’s ability to produce food, enhance people’s livelihoods, and protect the region’s ecosystems.”

The project will also enable participating Ohio State faculty to create new opportunities for research and Extension collaborations in West Africa.

Dick added that developing Africa’s food-production capabilities in an environmentally sustainable manner is crucial to ensuring the continent’s food security, economic development and political stability. “Sixty percent of people in Africa depend on agriculture,” he pointed out.

Read more here.

Richard Dick (center) with Université Gaston Berger professor Mateugue Diack (right) and a UGB technician.

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