The Importance of Senegal
SMIL collaborates closely with the National Agricultural Research System: Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA), Institut de Technologie Alimentaire (ITA), and the CORAF-sponsored CERAAS. SMIL implements activities through a network of farmer cooperatives, entrepreneurial food processers, universities, and private sector input providers. All projects in Senegal work with counterparts in Niger to maximize learning across nations and generate spillover benefits throughout the region.
Pearl millet and sorghum are key staple crops in rural communities and there is demand for ready-to-eat food products based on these ancient grains. The capital of Senegal, Dakar, is a center of entrepreneurial food processing activities.
SMIL in Senegal
We can generate technologies, innovation, and knowledge with the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab and share it with other communities who are not directly funded by USAID. So it's a good opportunity for us. For me, as a molecular breeder in pearl millet, the support helped me to push deeper on how we can address our breeding pipeline by using modern tools. How can we accelerate the generation of new crops that correspond with the demand of the value chain stakeholders? It's really a good opportunity for us to have a community working around the Sorghum and Millet Innovation Lab, but also have the funds to go faster and more precisely to address the demand.