Saly- Senegal (PANA) -- The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD), on Tuesday morning in Saly, a seaside resort some 80 kilometres from Dakar, began an international workshop on agricultural research in Africa, PANA reported there.
The workshop, initiated by WECARD and due to be held in two phases until Saturday, seeks first, to analyze and report on the findings of an unprecedented survey on the economic and geographical analysis of the agricultural research priorities for economic and social development in West and Central Africa.
This survey was commissioned for WECARD by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in view of directing a sub- regional agricultural co-operation strategic Plan for the next ten years.
"It involves concentrating agricultural research efforts on sectors that have high potential of efficient investment returns and impacts o the improvement of African populations' living conditions", a WECARD press release noted.
The second phase of the worshop, which began on Thursday, is bringing together a group of development experts and partners to use the priorities already defined above in order to identify the research activities necessary to boost economic growth as well economic and social development for West and Central African sub- regions.
The entire workshop is due to lead to the drafting of two big research-development programmes at the level of West and central Africa, which boast a population of over 315 million inhabitants, nearly 70% of whom live from agriculture, the WECARD statement adds.
The West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD)is one of the four African sub-regional agricultural scientific co-operation organisations that belong to the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA).
It groups the national agricultural research mechanisms of 22 West and Central African countries.