Agri-agency Fert, in partnership with the Louis Dreyfus foundation and in close collaboration with local and national stakeholders in charge of agricultural and rural training reform, has been supporting the creation and development of an Agricultural and Rural Training Centre (CFAR) in Niofoin in northern Côte d’Ivoire since October 2018. The main objective is to train young people aged 16-20 years old in two years to become farmers, capable of i) implementing efficient agricultural production systems that respect natural resources, ii) reasoning their choices according to knowledge of agricultural sectors and markets and iii) contributing to the development of their profession and/or territory.

The first twelve months of the action were devoted to setting up a local management committee, securing land tenure on the 15 ha of land made available by local communities, and designing and building infrastructure with a capacity of 70 learners (administration, classrooms, boarding schools, staff accommodation, refectory / kitchen, etc.), the development of training engineering, the recruitment and training of the teaching staff, as well as the promotion of the centre and the selection of the young people from the first class.

On 31 October 2019, the CFAR was inaugurated on the occasion of a major popular celebration attended by nearly 2,000 people, in the presence of Mr Gaoussou TOURE, Ivorian Minister for the Promotion of Rice Production, Ms Margarita LOUIS-DREYFUS, President of the Louis Dreyfus Foundation and Mr Jean François ISAMBERT, President of the agri-agency Fert. Since November 12, 35 young people (12 girls and 23 boys) have entered the centre and started their learning with great motivation. Agricultural and livestock production techniques, farm management, enhancement of agricultural products, rural land law, setting up an agricultural improvement project,… these are some of the topics covered under the guidance of the director and the two trainers.

The training alternates theory and practice full-time at the centre. The CFAR has agricultural land that is gradually being developed as part of the practical work into agricultural plots and educational livestock. Visits and internships on farms are also scheduled at different times during the course. Located in savannah areas where agricultural production systems are mainly based on cotton and cashew nuts, CFAR will, within the framework of training and at the request of the actors of this territory, give priority to food chains (maize, groundnuts, rice, market gardening, etc.) as well as to practices allowing the improvement of soil fertility.