2nd Applied Research Fund International Workshop, Benin, West Africa

20 Dec 2016
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In 2015, MDPI was approved funding from NWO-WOTRO Food & Business Applied Research Fund (ARF) to conduct an 18 month project called ‘Technology innovations towards sustainability in Indonesia’s tuna supply chains’. This project is in collaboration with Wageningen University, Dalhousie University, Institute Pertanian Bogor, PT. Harta Samudra and Technical Services, LLC. The objective of this project was to pilot and research traceability-based technologies that will facilitate improved information flows and help both tuna fishermen and processors in Indonesia to meet the informational requirements, specifically for traceability focused on the export market. Four technology systems (Tally-O, DOCK, Spot Trace and OurFish) were introduced and piloted on each supply chain node (fishers, middlemen, dockside enumerators and processing facilities) in Maluku (Indonesia) and Vietnam.

On 25-28 October 2016, NWO-WOTRO Science for Global Development, the Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) and the University of Abomey-Calavi, in collaboration with AgriProFocus Benin held a workshop for 17 projects who received funding from NWO-WOTRO Food & Business ARF. I, Stephani from MDPI attended on behalf our projects members, with other participants attending from Uganda, Kenya, Ethophia, Benin, Tanzania, Mozambique, Bangladesh and the Netherlands.

The workshop was opened by Professor Brice A. Sinsin (rector of University of Abomey, Calavi) and continued with a welcome note from Dr. Cora Govers (NWO-Wortro Govers), Prof. Joseph Hounhouigan, (University of Abomey), Vanessa Nighten (F&BKP) and Marcel Djihoun (AgriProfocus, Benin). The objective of this workshop was to share the experiences and lessons learnt. During the workshop, each participant gave a poster pitch, explaining about their specific project. The sessions covered the problems and challenges encountered, lessons learnt, suggestions for improvement and how to best manage stakeholder engagement using the Alignment, Interest and Influence Matrix (AIIM). Participants were given the opportunity to visit Songhai Center in Proto Novo, a center providing entrepreneur training to farmers.

This was a great workshop for learning more information about the various projects, only two of which were related to fisheries resources. It was great to hear about the experiences of other projects, not in the fisheries field and to see how we can learn from each other. The collaboration between practitioner and researcher was very good in this workshop. Also I learned a lot about African culture from this workshop and can confirm that Benin really is ‘The Hospitality Country’!

 

Workshop in Benin. Photo credit: NWO

Writer: Stephani Mangunsong

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