Update : 02/17/2021
Plantain is an essential staple food in Central and West Africa. A sharp rise in plantain production is essential to address food security, nutritional and employment issues while fostering development of the sector. The 2-year FABA project jointly managed by L’institut Agro | Montpellier SupAgro and CIRAD aims to train plantain growers on innovative agroecological cropping practices.
The FABA project is coordinated by CIRAD with the support of the DEFIS service at L’institut Agro | Montpellier SupAgro in association with the FAR International Network. It primarily targets farmers, as well as advisors and teachers, with the support of Ivorian, Cameroonian and French partners representing the bulk of stakeholders in the plantain sector (institutional representatives to farmers’ organizations).
FABA is an integral part of the process of forging closer ties between L’institut Agro and CIRAD with regard to training outreach in the Global South, which should ultimately lead to a mutually beneficial arrangement between the two institutions.
The first phase of the project—carried out by L’institut Agro | Montpellier SupAgro and CIRAD—involves an analysis of the training needs of men and women farmers and stakeholders throughout the plantain sector. Several assessment tools are used, including interviews and field surveys currently underway in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire. This will help develop a tailored frame of reference and specify the learning methods to be prioritized according to the stakeholders, types of farmers and different plantain growing areas.
These assessments will lead into the second phase to develop training material and tools, including a library of educational videos for easy viewing by farmers on their mobile phones.
The FABA project is financially supported by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs via the Solidarity Fund for Innovative Projects (FSPI) and by the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food. It is viewed as a pilot project that could be further developed in other fields and/or to deal with other issues.