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Investing in crops that feed the Sahel

Investing in crops that feed the Sahel



At the prestigious weeklong Market for Agricultural Innovation and Technology (MITA) held in Dakar Senegal, ICRISAT called for increased investments in crops like sorghum, millet and groundnut.

Nutrient-rich crops that suit the agro-ecology of the Sahel figured prominently in ICRISAT’s presentation at MITA. The Institute was among the selected 15 organizations delivering presentations on agricultural innovations and technologies at the high-level meet.

Representing ICRISAT, Dr Ousmane Sanogo, Cluster Leader – Crop Improvement Operations Team, presented on high-yielding, biofortified and dual purpose (feed-food) varieties and hybrids of sorghum and pearl millet, high oleic acid groundnut varieties and ICRISAT’s Smart Food initiative.

“Thousands of communities living in the Sahel are mainly fed by these crops, therefore, more investment should be devoted to them,” said Dr Sanogo.
Participants at MITA held in Dakar, Senegal.
Participants at MITA held in Dakar, Senegal.

Discussion sessions allowed participants to deepen their knowledge of the technological opportunities and innovations presented. Discussion in first session revolved around what organizations such as agricultural research institutes can offer as technologies and innovations in the global market.

The second session focused on business-to-business (B2B) where both technologies suppliers and buyers concluded deals. ICRISAT was solicited by 13 groups (National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems, seed companies and processors) from six countries, namely, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Senegal, The Gambia and Togo.

According to Dr Kossi Kpemoua, Scientific Director of Togolese Institute for Agricultural Research (ITRA) in Togo, ICRISAT is partnering with his institution for decades on groundnut, sorghum and millet crops research and development for productivity. But they need a strong partnership with ICRISAT to co-create and to have more agricultural products and technology penetration in Togo for poverty alleviation and income revenue increase.

Over 188 participants from 22 African countries and the China Republic were represented at the MITA meeting organized by CORAF (West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development). Ministers, representatives from the National Agricultural Research Systems, the private sector, national, regional, and international organizations participated in the event held from November 2-5, 2022 at Dakar, Senegal. ​

This work aligns with SDGs 2 and 17.

Agathe Diama Communications Lead West and Central Africa, ICRISAT




About The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is a pioneering, international non-profit scientific research for development organization, specializing in improving dryland farming and agri-food systems.  The Institute was established as an international organization in 1972, by a Memorandum of Agreement between the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and the Government of India.  ICRISAT works with global partners to develop innovative science-backed solutions to overcoming hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and environmental degradation on behalf of the 2.1 billion people who reside in the drylands of Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and beyond. 

Our offices:

Asia: India (Headquarters - Hyderabad)

East and Southern Africa:  Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe

West and Central Africa: Mali, Niger, Nigeria

For all media inquiries, please email: [email protected]

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
Hyderabad, Telangana, India