ROPPA’s Family Farming Observatory Strengthens for Better Results
THIÈS, Senegal – From May 2 to 9, 2023, the city of Thiès in Senegal hosted a regional workshop under the auspices of the Secretary General of the Network of Farmers’ and Producers’ Organizations of West Africa (ROPPA). The main aim of this event was to strengthen the Family Farming Observatory (FFO) in West Africa.
The workshop brought together a diverse group of participants – about forty in total – from various platforms and organizations such as ROPPA, the National Council for Consultation and Cooperation of Rural People (NCCRP), the Federation of Non-Governmental Organizations of Senegal (FONGS), and technical partners such as Sos Faim, Hub Rural, Agricultural and Rural Prospective Initiative (IPAR), the World Agriculture Observatory (WAO), and CORAF.
The discussions mainly focused on improving the FFO, emphasizing the enhancement of peasant production and know-how. Specific objectives included consolidating the FFO’s methodology, improving knowledge production from 2024 onwards, and drafting a timetable for the implementation of the workshop’s recommendations.
Among the major conclusions were the importance of using the knowledge produced by the FFO, directing themes, the need to revitalize mutualization practices to strengthen the knowledge production capacities of the National Producers’ Platforms (NPP), and the imperative to improve the system’s operation.
Three strategic axes were defined for the coming years: the production of peasant knowledge on the evolution of food systems, the improvement of the Agro Sylvo Pastoral and Fishery (ASPF) campaign monitoring, and the preparation of the high-level conference on the dynamics and innovations of Family Farms (FF). The workshop promoted in-depth collective reflection that established a new dynamic for the FFO.
Concrete actions were identified to improve the quality and enhancement of knowledge produced by the FFO, to strengthen the methodology and functionality of the FFO, and to invigorate advocacy for FF. The workshop also helped to strengthen the cohesion among participants and their commitment to working together for the success of the FFO. This was materialized by the establishment of an overall timetable for the implementation of the workshop’s recommendations, with commitments made by the different actors. Fruitful exchanges with technical partners such as CORAF, IPAR, and WAO/FAO marked the workshop.
These partners affirmed their support for the FFO and proposed collaboration avenues to strengthen the FFO’s capacity to produce and enhance peasant knowledge. The workshop also helped to identify major themes for knowledge production from 2024 onwards.
These themes, which concern key issues for family farms in West Africa, will form the heart of the FFO’s activities in the coming years. In sum, this regional workshop aimed at evaluating and invigorating the FFO was a great success. It helped to strengthen the FFO, to define strategic directions for its future development, and to mobilize all stakeholders around these directions. This represents a significant step forward in consolidating the FFO as a key player in promoting family farms in West Africa.
Communication and knowledge management officer