2007 - Present
This five-year, USAID-funded project is developing academic, research, and service programs at the Université Gaston Berger, Senegal (UGB) that focus on sustainable food production in the African Sahel. The goals of the project include:
- assisting with curriculum development at UGB for associate and bachelor degree programs in agroecology;
- building UGB faculty capacity for teaching, research and extension;
- building a pilot program of integrated research and outreach for small farmers; and
- facilitating faculty exchanges
The new Associate and BS degree programs began their fourth year with the recruitment of 39 students November 2013. The inaugural graduation of 66 associate degree students took place the following March 2014.
Mechanization of the transplanting component of crop production through a pilot extension program introducing a mechanical transplanter for the first time in Sub-Saharan Africa was underway in 2014. Three on-farm trials with smallholder farmers took place for trouble shooting before the larger scale, on-farm trials scheduled to take place in 2015. Farmers in the Senegal River Valley are very excited at the prospects of the transplanter reducing their labor costs and significantly increasing yields as they work towards self-sufficiency and food security.