The Crop Innovation in West Africa (CIWA) project, a regional consortium between led by national programs in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Niger, is oriented towards improving crops in West Africa through the application of efficient technologies. One of the major objectives of the CIWA project is the transfer of technological innovations and the capacity building of producers and processors which will make it possible to improve productivity and product quality.
In this sense, the Institute of Food Technology (ITA), a partner of the Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA), works on aspects of transformation by supporting women and young people through training on gender-sensitive technologies. Thus, a five-day workshop was organized at ITA from August 28 to September 1, open to economic interest groups and other companies working in food processing and coming from various places in Dakar and certain regions of Senegal (Thiès, Diourbel, Kaolack).
This training, which brought together around 40 participants, focused mainly on extrusion technology for instant and fortified flour and on the health quality of products processed using the varieties of millet, sorghum and cowpea newly created by the ISRA, by carrying out sensory tests of the latter. The objective of these research tests is to detect the preferred traits of processors in order to integrate them into their selection program. These tests mainly concerned the perception (taste, texture, acceptability, color and smell) of the varieties transformed into bread, porridge, donuts, etc.
In summary, these five days of training allowed:
- to strengthen the capacities of stakeholders on good hygiene practices and technology manufacturing;
- to introduce participants to the concept of health quality (HACCP system);
- to train participants on extrusion technology;
- to present to participants the new varieties of millet, sorghum and cowpea created by ISRA;
- to organize sensory tests on the products obtained; and
- to build capacity on packaging and labeling techniques for instant products.
CIWA is a sub-regional consortium between the Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA), the Environmental Institute for Agricultural Research (INERA) and the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique du Niger (INRAN). CIWA, a Center of Innovation supported by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement, takes a regionally coordinated approach to the development and dissemination of crop innovations that are key to smallholder farmers and rural populations of West Africa.