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Everything you ever wanted to know about sweetpotato TOT course held in Burkina Faso

The second edition of the Training of Trainers’ (TOT) course titled “Everything you ever wanted to know about sweetpotato” was held from 19 to 28 January 2017 in Pacific Hotel, Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. Seventeen participants from Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and Togo attended the course. Three of them were women.

Led by the Institut de l’Environnement et de Recherches Agricoles (INERA) the national agricultural research institute, the training included theoretical felicitation in class and practical exercises in field. Together with CAP-Matourkou, iDE-Burkina, Helen Keller International and the Food Research Institute (IRSAT/DTA) and with the financial support of CIP through the Jumpstarting project.

The content of the course followed the Reaching Agents of Change Project revised ToT Manual on “Everything you ever wanted to know about sweetpotato” (June 2013).

Practical sessions were conducted at the INERA Station of Farakoba, at the Centre Agricole Polyvalent de Matourkou and at the Bobo Dioulasso Regional Professional School for cooking and processing exercises.

The training was preceded by a three-day pre-training session, held from 19 to 21 January 2017 in Bobo Dioulasso. This pre-training session, attended by eight facilitators, was meant to prepare the facilitators by discussing the course format and plans, and revising the presentations from the first 10-day TOT courses to include new information and illustrations. The session also refreshed facilitators’ knowledge of TOT delivery methodology, facilitation skills and adult learning methodologies. This process is important to ensure that the TOT course delivers up-to-date and context-specific content to the participants.

As part of ensuring sustainability for the course, INERA offers the course at a small fee. This time, five participants were sponsored by their organizations, while the rest were sponsored by the Jumpstarting project.

Jumpstarting Orange-fleshed Sweetpotato in West Africa Through Diversified Markets, is a 3 years proof-of-concept project implemented in three countries in West Africa, namely Ghana, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, to test the hypothesis that it is possible to simultaneously develop value chains for OFSP and maximize nutritional benefits to vulnerable populations. The major goal is to provide evidence that different market-led approaches are achievable in three years and can truly drive OFSP uptake with profit margins that will facilitate permanent OFSP adoption and commercialized planting material (seed) systems, with sufficient OFSP consumption occurring in the household diet. In developing and testing the models, building the capacity of national implementing agencies by designing and implementing a technically strong and cost-effective training interventions that drive up-scaling of OFSP is of core importance. Then, this second edition of the Training of Trainers (ToT) course targeted extension staff and other interested people working with the public and private sectors, NGOs, and farmer groups.

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