Africa’s dryland agricultural systems research: When East meets West (and when it doesn’t)

ILRI Clippings

I have been working for nine months as an agricultural economist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) headquarters, in Nairobi, Kenya. I have come to realize that there are not enough bridges between West and East African agricultural research communities. Is it a problem of history? Different languages? Or perhaps inter-African communication links are not sufficiently developed?

PPZS evaluation meetingSenegal’s ‘Pastoralism and Arid Areas’ Program (PPZS) researchers listen to the preliminary conclusions of the external evaluation mission on 14 June 2013 in Dakar (photo credit: ILRI/Jo Cadilhon).

So it was particularly interesting for me to learn how French and Senegalese colleagues are tackling issues faced by dryland pastoral communities in West Africa. I was involved last week in an external evaluation of the ‘Pastoralism and Arid Areas’ Program, or PPZS for its French name. PPZS is an institutional partnership involving the French centre for international cooperation on agricultural research for development

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