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Winrock International

Volunteer Post

Growing a Climate for Tomorrow – 2024 National Ag Day

“The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”

Wendell Berry

In celebration of National Ag Day today, March 19, 2024, we had the privilege of speaking with Abibou Diaw, Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Senegal Country Director, who shared his valuable perspective on this year’s theme: “Growing a Climate for Tomorrow.” This occasion provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the importance of agriculture in our lives and the future. Below, you’ll find Abibou’s thoughts on the matter.

Thinking intelligently about agriculture is essential for enabling all stakeholders to practice it properly and sustainably. To achieve this, it’s crucial for farmers, particularly women, to access effective farming techniques that also safeguard the environment and family health. This includes helping producers efficiently obtain and utilize seeds, ensuring natural crop protection, and adopting agricultural innovations to boost production while protecting natural resources.

Agroforestry must be considered in women’s market gardening areas to foster a favorable ecosystem for plant growth and enhance production. Encouraging the planting of diverse tree species helps create a suitable microclimate. A solid partnership is key to achieving this, ensuring the provision of abundant, high-quality food. This involves various players throughout the value chain, not limited to sales outlets and producers but also including processors, distributors, transporters, suppliers, and retailers.

Such efforts foster resilience among agricultural populations. Resilience is the capacity of individuals, households, communities, countries, and systems to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from shocks and stresses in a manner that reduces chronic vulnerability and promotes inclusive growth, all without compromising future well-being. Resilience is not simply an outcome but a critical set of capabilities that facilitate sustained achievement in the face of complex risks.

Training farmers on soil health and structure is vital for growing a climate for tomorrow. This encompasses composting, nitrogen-fixing, promoting beneficial microorganisms, transplanting, using cover crops or green manures, and crop rotation. Integrated pest and disease management should not harm the environment and include natural crop protection techniques like field sanitation, soil solarization, and intercropping, along with natural plant-based pesticides or biopesticides. Techniques for collecting and conserving water are also essential.

Winrock International’s West Africa F2F Program, leverages the expertise of skilled American volunteers to foster inclusive agriculture growth, facilitate private sector engagement, strengthen local capacity and promote climate-smart development. All volunteer F2F assignments focus on the priorities of in-country host organizations with the overall goal of supporting economic growth that increases incomes and improves access to nutritious food. Winrock has implemented F2F assignments around the world for more than three decades. In that time, Winrock volunteers have completed more than 7,000 assignments in 60+ countries, enabling U.S.-based volunteers to engage with farmers and agri-entrepreneurs to share their technical expertise.

Join us in showing appreciation to all those in the agriculture industry and our Winrock International volunteers.#AgDay124