USAID/ERA (Education and Research in Agriculture) will reinforce institutional and human capacity in the areas of Education and Agricultural Research
The Minister of Higher Education, Universities, Regional Academic Centers and Scientific Research, Mr. Amadou Tidiane Bâ, presided with the Director of USAID/Senegal, Mr. Kevin J. Mullally, at the official launch of the USAID / ERA (Education and Research in Agriculture) project. The ceremony took place on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at the Hotel Terrou-Bi in the presence of a large delegation from the United States and representatives of target institutions.
USAID / ERA is funded under President Barack Obama's Initiative for Food Security, "Feed the Future," with an objective of strengthening institutional and human capacities in the fields of education and research in agriculture in Senegal.
This project intends, in conjunction with the private sector, to establish a sustainable agricultural system suitable for knowledge systems and agricultural information (AKIS), which enhances productivity, profitability, economic growth and food security in Senegal.
Over a period of five years, the $28 million (13.6 billion CFA francs) project will be synergized with the various agricultural policies of Senegal, using an innovative approach: the establishment of a broad program of exchange between a consortium of five U.S. universities and university training centers and institutes of agricultural research in Senegal.
According to the Director of USAID/Senegal, the launch of USAID / ERA during the same year in which USAID recognizes 50 years of presence in Senegal shows, in his view, the exemplary cooperation between the U.S. and Senegal. "Through this five-year project, the U.S. government aims to strengthen institutional and human capacities in the field of education and agricultural research in Senegal," said Mr. Mullally. The ultimate goal of the project is "to promote the use of results of agricultural research by the private sector and farming communities to stimulate economic growth."
"Productivity gains must be made very important in all agricultural sectors," said Mr S.K. Datta, Director of the Office of International Research, Education and Development (OIRED) and Principal Administrator of all project funds for USAID/ERA. Virginia Tech and its partners in the consortium will use their vast wealth of knowledge and expertise drawn from their participation in past projects in Senegal.
He also noted that the USAID / ERA project seeks to accomplish the goals of enhancing reforms in education in agricultural institutions, strengthening research and extension and improving governance and management within agricultural education institutions.
The Minister of Higher Education, Universities and Scientific Research, Mr. Amadou Tidiane Bâ, recalled the enormous efforts of Senegal to make agriculture the engine of economic growth. He stressed "the role that academic institutions, training centers and research has to play as instruments of knowledge acquisition, production and adaptation of technological innovations, and organizational tools of support for boosting productivity and growth." By putting in place the training institutions and agricultural education center for research and extension, the USAID / ERA project hopes to create, according to Mr. Ba, a system that will improve the design of the future agricultural economy of the country.
PARTENER INSTITUTIONS OF THE PROJECT
-CNFTEIA (ex-Ecole d’Elevage)
-Université de Thiès
-ISFAR (Institut Supérieur de Formation Agricole et Rurale) de Bambey
-CFPH (Centre de Formation professionnelle en Horticulture) de Cambérène
-Université de Ziguinchor
-CNFTEFCPN (Centre National de Formation des Techniciens des Eaux et Forêts, Chasses et des Parcs Nationaux)
-Lycée agricole de Bignona
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY CONSORTIUM MEMBERS
- Virginia Tech University
- Michigan State University
- Perdue University
- Tuskegee University
- University of Connecticut