The Senegalese Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture has asked his team of experts, who work with the team of Changing Course in Global Agriculture (CCGA), to model the country’s Agriculture Policy Plan 2014-2017, the PRACAS.
The model, based on the T21 modelling tool developed the Millennium Institute is expected to give answers to a host of questions surrounding Senegal’s development: Are the targets of this plan realistic? How does it integrate with the longer term objectives set in the ‘Plan Sénégal Emergeant’ (the major long-term policy document for Senegal 2035)? What alternative scenarios or supporting measures could be proposed?
To investigate these questions, much work in data collection, analysis, and translation into policy recommendations are required. One of the challenges encountered is the time that these experts can dedicate to these tasks as they’re also involved in other activities. The CCGA team is now in discussion with the Ministry in order to institutionalise this unit and solve this issue for the mid- to long-term. In the short term, the first results of the Agriculture Policy Plan analysis should be available in April and will then be submitted to the multi-stakeholder groups for their feedback. Based on these inputs, the analysis will be fine-tuned and later presented to the ministry. Although the PRACAS has already been published, there is still much room in the ways it will be implemented. Therefore, a lot of efforts are needed to steer these choices in the right direction!
The project ‘Changing Course in Global Agriculture’ operates at both international and national levels, reaching decision-makers and stakeholders in the area of agriculture and food systems through policy development processes. While actions taken within global fora are crucial to shape the international agenda, interventions at national levels allow for concrete effect on national policies and institutional arrangements.
In Senegal, support to policy planning as well as multi-stakeholder processes and involvement are at the core of the CCGA activities. Since the project started in 2013, a number of steps have been taken towards having integrated and inclusive planning processes. The project is being run in direct collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and four Senegalese experts from different ministries were sent to an intensive training course on System Dynamics and T21 modelling at the University of Bergen in Norway. The T21 modelling programme allows detailed forecasts of the outcome of different policy options and was developed by the Millennium Institute.
These people have constituted the core team to build the agriculture and food system component of the T21 model of Senegal. In order to include a wider and richer array of expertise, interests and perspectives, a series of three multi-stakeholder workshops was organised to ensure a better understanding of the linkages and causality making up the agriculture and food system in Senegal and also to validate the integration of these inputs into the model. Finally, the workshops tested different scenarios for sustainable agriculture, food security and reduction of rural poverty in the country.
This process has been successful and provided a functional model, a team of local modelling experts and a group of heterogeneous stakeholders (from government, NGOs, CSOs, private sector and donors), who can be called upon request. In the second phase of the project, new important challenges are to be taken up – to analyse major agriculture policy plans through the T21 model and with the multi-stakeholder process in order to provide concrete policy recommendations and ultimately steer policy-making and monitoring towards more inclusive and long-term decision-making – towards sustainable food systems that provide decent livelihood and fulfil food and nutrition needs for all.