In order to improve its approach to agricultural advice and support for POs at the grassroots level, a delegation of 3 leaders and 5 employees from CGA went to Madagascar to discover the actions of the Fifata group and learn from its experience.

Since 2014, Fert has been supporting CGA in the implementation of its new service strategy in 5 counties in south-west Kenya: Narok, Nakuru, Laikipia, Uasin Gishu and Meru. In parallel, Fert and CGA, through a partnership with the Louis Dreyfus fondation, have initiated an action to promote agroecological practices in Laikipia and Meru counties where soil degradation and climate change are threatening agricultural production. agricole.

The overall objective of the exchange visit was to improve CGA’s skills in the implementation of basic services to build sustainable FOs on the one hand and the development of agroecology on the other. Thanks to numerous field visits, the CGA delegation was able to appreciate the relevance and effectiveness of the local agricultural advice implemented by Cap Malagasy.  This support has enabled the development of concrete services that meet the needs of producers by grassroots FOs and specialised unions. For example, the Santatra rice sector union in Sandrandahy in Amoron’i Mania has developed a rice seed supply service and access to agricultural equipment.

The importance of training and support for relay farmers as well as FOs and their leaders was also highlighted during these visits. “It was impressive to see the leaders talking so well about their FOs, the services…” (Nicholas, Meru County Coordinator)

The visit to Ceffel,  GSDM and the exchanges with producers engaged in an agroecological approach allowed the discovery of new practices and the improvement of CGA’s know-how in conducting experiments.

« As an agronomist in charge of promoting agroecological practices, I have learned a lot from Ceffel and the producers. On our side, we need to work more on field crops and on the commercial aspect of agroecology. »

The exchange visit offered CGA members a concrete experience related to their own reality, peer-to-peer exchanges and inspiration for their own challenges.

The main directions taken by CGA as a result of the exchange visit are as follows

  • Not to systematically seek to increase the number of groups of producers accompanied, but to put more effort and proximity in the accompaniment of the groups, in particular to reinforce the collective approach, the development and the perpetuation of the services
  • Strengthen the link between the relay farmers and the groups they support
  • Refocus the scope of action of the farmer-relays in order to improve their expertise and the quality of their services, and support them in starting up their activity via a start-up kit (in kind)
  • Set up a training programme for relay farmers and CGA advisors
  • Develop an action targeted at young people

«  What impressed me the most was to see what the groups manage to achieve with good support. Thanks to the trust and knowledge between the members, and with the training and support of the advisor, they manage to manage equipment together, buy inputs together, sell together… I also appreciated the training and specialisation of the farmer-relays who accompany the groups, and this is something that we will develop further with CGA. »