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ASHC workshop targets soil health in Mali

Bamako, Mali This week ASHC in partnership with AGRA has brought together a group of researchers, extensionists, agro-input dealers, farmers with communication experts to learn how to create and disseminate better soil fertility management information. Using the text and pictures brought to the workshop by the participants, the group created a number of communication products that will be multiplied and given to farmers, agro-input dealers and extension workers. Some products will be used for training farmers’ groups while others will be distributed to research institutions, agro-dealer networks, non-governmental organizations and other target audiences. Seydou Keita, regional director of agriculture, Ségou Region, Mali, said: “During this workshop I have seen that generating knowledge and disseminating it are complementary – we cannot do one and leave the other. I have realised that scientists need to wor with graphic designers and communicators in order to make this happen.”

mali_workshop mamadou and others


Left to Right: Dr Mamadou M Bare Coulibaly, Institut d’Economie Rurale/Niono – IER), Dr Nianankoro Kamissoko IER and Mme Djeneba

Doumbia,Nationale Radio – ORTM Jane Frances, the information and communication for development coordinator at ASHC, explains how the workshop was organised: “The workshop on the development of ISFM information materials attracted 34 participants from the agricultural sector to learn how to present information on their technologies mainly to farmers. The workshop concentrated on helping the participants to think about which integrated soil fertility management technologies they had ready for scaling up and then finding effective ways to communicate them. This has involved pulling out key messages and finding ways to make the technologies clear and easy to follow. A team of journalists and graphic designers have been on hand to create workable solutions and develop templates for use in the future. During the workshop the scientists and the communications specialists have learned how to work together effectively.” Feedback from the delegates has shown the value of this practical, hands-on approach.

mali_workshop camara and others


Left to Right: Mme Camara Rokiatou Kouyate, Association des Organisation Professionelle Paysane, Seydou Keita, Directeur Regional de Agriculture, Amara Diakite Union Nationale des Agrodealers (UNRIA), Dalla Diarisso Direction Nationale de l’agriculture – DNA

Idrissa Diawara, regional director of agriculture, Ségou Region, Mali, said: “Yesterday I was stressed and I really wondered how I would proceed developing information materials on the technologies that I want to disseminate. But today we have made progress. The process has been well managed and with the help of Oman (the graphic designer), I am well equipped with knowledge on how to develop materials that can communicate effectively to farmers. I still lack some materials, such as photos for the posters that we have been working on. So I also need a camera to help me take good photos on the technologies I am working on.” Jane Frances concluded: “I am really excited at the high quality of materials being planned – which we will help to share with world using the materials section of the ASHC website. So keep watching this website!”

Training plan for the event which ran from 13-17 February 2012

List of participants