Integrated farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa
Development objectives for sub-Saharan Africa are shifting towards resource conservation and natural resource management along with greater agricultural production. Economic growth must increase by 4-5 per cent annually if food security is to be achieved and a modest standard of living provided for the 1.3 billion people expected in the region by 2025. Rapid urban population growth (55 percent of Africans will live in urban areas in 2025) and higher income will create a need for better quality food from a rural population that is expected to feed 592 million by 2025. This is an enormous challenge in a region that experiences a negative per capita GDP.
Agricultural intensification is inevitable in sub-Saharan Africa and thus, integrated farming systems are critical to the development of sustainable and environmentally sound production systems. Intensification has occurred gradually over many years in other developing regions but in Africa it will need to happen over a very short time due to rapid population growth.
Taking the above challenges and many other challenges facing the sub-Saharan African countries into consideration, ICBA has partnered with Songhai Africa to organize a specialized five-day training course on “Integrated farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa”. The course will be conducted on the Songhai farm in Porto-Novo, the capital of Benin.
Songhai works on restoring nobility to farm work that helps young people choose not to suffer and to provide service in creating wealth for their families, their countries, and their continent, through functional training based on knowledge, skills, and value systems. Songhai aims to produce a critical mass of men and women with a new entrepreneurial culture and who are equipped morally, technically, and spiritually with organizational skills.
This training will focus on introducing integrated farming systems applied at Songhai. These state-of-the-art technologies that are built in an integrated approach increase agricultural productivity while saving natural resources. The training will:
- Introduce participants to techniques of organic agricultural production;
- Help them master different techniques of organic fertilizers, soil biology such as compost, green manure, soil microorganisms, development of structures of soil, etc.;
- Introduce them to water management and irrigation methods for small-scale farms;
- Help them learn about cultivation of different tillage and planting such as making beds and nurseries, manure application, tillage, planting, etc.;
- Help them master the techniques of mulching, rotation and grafting;
- Teach them about the various methods of biological control against predators and parasites adapted to tropical crops; and
- Share agricultural mechanization and the use of agricultural machinery.
ICBA will organize the course in partnership with Songhai Center in Benin and with support from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).
- ICBA, Dubai, UAE
- Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
- Songhai Center, Porto Novo, Benin
Mr. Ghazi Al-Jabri, Capacity-Building Specialist, ICBA, Dubai, UAE