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Visiting the World Vegetable Center’s newest office

Partners and donors are beginning to take notice of WorldVeg West and Central Africa – Coastal & Humid Regions in Cotonou, Benin

Marc Bernard, Anne Floquet, and Victor Afari-Sefa in the WorldVeg Benin Demonstration Garden

Prof. Anne Floquet, Professor at the Laboratoire d’Analyse des Dynamiques Sociales et du Développement (LADYD) at the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin visited WorldVeg West and Central Africa – Coastal & Humid Regions in Cotonou on 23 November 2017. Prof. Floquet, who was accompanied by Dr. Marc Bernard, Green Innovation Center Leader at AfricaRice, interacted with the WorldVeg Benin team to learn more about the Center’s R&D activities.

Prof. Floquet is an agricultural economist by training and researches economics, agriculture, and social science. She is currently preparing a new project called JARDALIM to establish home gardens in low-income communities to improve the nutritional status of rural poor people. JARDALIM is a project of the International Centre for Development-Oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA), an independent non-profit organization, founded in 1981 and headquartered in the Netherlands.

Prof. Floquet and Dr. Bernard were briefed by WorldVeg Benin Regional Director Victor Afari-Sefa about the newly created regional office. A discussion on possible collaboration opportunities with the JARDALIM project ensued, with options for WorldVeg to use the JARDALIM project to test new accessions of vegetable varieties to support the certification process of the proposed project.  The Green Innovation Center will contribute its network, service delivery system, and ICT tools to ensure systematic promotion, vocational training, and knowledge management of the proposed project. A joint concept note with WorldVeg, Prof. Floquet and the Green Innovation Center is being developed.

Professor Asiedu (second from left) with the WorldVeg Benin team: (left to right) Judith Honfoga, Eric Hounto-Hotegbe, Victor Afari-Sefa, Azoma Komla.

Prof. Samuel Asiedu, from the Department of Plant, Food and Environmental Sciences of Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada, visited WorldVeg Benin from 9-12 January 2018 to discuss collaboration opportunities between Dalhousie University and WorldVeg. During his visit he was taken on a tour of the IITA-Benin campus and WorldVeg’s demo garden. As an IITA alumni, he also took the opportunity to meet IITA Country Representative for Benin Dr. Tamό Manuele and Dr. Marc Bernard of AfricaRice’s Green Innovation Center. Prof. Asiedu also met WorldVeg partners, including the University of Abomey-Calavi, INRAB Vegetable Program Lead, and selected vegetable farmers in and around Cotonou. Collaboration opportunities include studentships and joint project proposals between Dalhousie University, WorldVeg and IITA.

Story and photos: Judith Honfoga and Victor Afari-Sefa

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