By Albert Savana
Under the aegis of the International Society of Horticultural Sciences (ISHS), in partnership with the Government of Senegal, through the Ministry of Employment, Vocational Training and Handicrafts, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment, the Horticulture Cluster of Senegal is organizing the 4th All Africa Horticultural Congress (AAHC). This major international event, the first in the French-speaking world, will be held in Dakar from 29 to 31 March 2021.
More than 500 participants from academia, research, the private sector, African national public institutions, and many others, from over 30 countries, are expected to connect remotely or be present in Dakar, to exchange on the evolution of knowledge and practices of horticultural actors in Africa.
The objectives of the event are to:
Provide a space for exchange and sharing for all stakeholders in the African and global horticultural sector on current realities, research and reflections, practices and innovations that are profoundly transforming this economic, social and strategic sector of the continent;
Take stock of the African horticultural sector: state of play, specific experiences and ways forward;
Foster through thematic forums and workshops, the emergence of sustainable business opportunities, partnerships and strategic
The 4th AAHC will thus make it possible to bring together all the actors concerned to think about the inclusive development of Africa horticulture, in the perspective of the fight against poverty, food and nutritional insecurity, and the integration of agricultural markets.
Dakar, African capital of horticulture
The Dakar Congress will be structured around high-level panels on the following themes:
Nutrition and health,
Environment and sustainable management of resources,
The value chain (productivity, competitiveness, standardization and labeling).
The 4th AAHC will be a framework for scientific exchanges on current events and the evolution of knowledge and practices in the horticultural sector in Africa, through:
Plenary conferences on the new stakes and major challenges of the continent and research for development,
Thematic sessions presenting the latest research results in all disciplines, both agro-technical and socio-economic,
Workshops and discussion forums to cross-reference perspectives and approaches between research actors and those from the professional world and civil society.
The development of horticulture is one of the major levers for increasing Senegal’s agricultural competitiveness and strengthening its contribution to the production of national wealth. For this, a comprehensive and inclusive strategy must be put in place that integrates all areas of the horticultural value chain. It is in this perspective that the Horticulture Cluster has initiated, with the Directorate of Horticulture and the University of Dakar (UCAD), a process for Senegal to join the ISHS (International Society for Horticultural Science).
In order to strengthen the positioning of Senegal in the sector of research and scientific innovation in horticulture, the Horticulture Cluster, with the support and backing of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment, proposed and obtained in Ibadan, in 2016, during the 3rd AAHC, the organization of the 4th AAHC in Senegal in 2020, postponed in 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and adapted to the sanitary conditions in force.
Placed under the High Patronage of the Head of State, His Excellency Mr. Macky SALL, the 4th AAHC enjoys the support of the City of Dakar and will see the effective participation of Mrs. Soham El WARDINI, Mayor of Dakar and sponsor of the event. This great international meeting will make Dakar, the capital of horticulture and will be the opportunity to present the major projects of the capital of Senegal and particularly the project « Dakar green city ».
The 4th AAHC is organized with the support of several national and international institutions and organizations among which : the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment (MAER), the Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research/ISRA, the National Agricultural Insurance Company of Senegal/Agricultural Bank/CNAAS, the Center for International Cooperation in Agricultural Research for Development/CIRAD, the Center for Agricultural Development/CNA, the West African Council for Agricultural Research and Development/CORAF, the United States Agency for International Development/USAID, the Embassy of France, the International Food Policy Research Institute/IFPRI, the International Society of Horticultural Sciences/ISHS, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations/FAO.
The Dakar congress will be a major and unavoidable event for the horticultural sector and the work resulting from the various discussions and exchanges will help position horticultural sciences as a lever for sustainable agricultural development in Africa.