The Observatory Midi-Pyrenees laboratory Géosciences Environment Toulouse (GET), was a hive of INSA activity in June, hosting two researchers from Côte d’Ivoire and two researchers from Nigeria.
Fabrice Gangneron (GET, Univ Paul Sabatier) and Mehdi Saqalli (GEODE, Univ Jean Jaures) welcomed Akoua Adayé and Kouadio Eugène Konan, geographers from the University Felix Houphouët Boigny (UFHB), Côte d’Ivoire, as well as Ajoke Oyegbami, a social scientist, and Sikiru Ajijola, an agricultural economist, from the Institute of Agricultural Research and training (IAR&T), Nigeria.
The objective of the secondments was to initiate a comparative study of agrarian systems in neighbouring regions of Benin and Nigeria, as well as rural areas of Côte d’Ivoire, in particular the region surrounding the town of Bodokro.
Fabrice, Mehdi, Akou and Kouadio are also collaborating to map the flow of merchandise related to agriculture in the region surrounding Bodokro, and to document soil fertility maintenance practices.
This collaboration brings together 6 scientists with diverse backgrounds studying similar systems from different perspectives. By comparing agrarian systems which have similar geological and climatic properties, but different political and cultural contexts, researchers will gain a deeper understanding of the role of soil fertility in structuring agrarian systems, and conversely, the role of agrarian systems in the maintenance and production of soil fertility.
Collaborating across disciplines is rarely easy, and these secondments provided a rare opportunity for in-depth conversations on differences and similarities between social and agricultural practices, allowing links to be made between complementary research approaches.
About the visiting researchers:
Akoua Adayé and Kouadio Eugène Konan are researchers at the Institute for Tropical Geography, UFHB. Akoua specialises in rural geography; her research activities include food security and food system analysis, agricultural development, rural real-estate, and gender and development. Kouadio’s research is focused on physical geography, protected ecosystems, natural resource management, and geomatics (e.g. cartography, GIS, tele-detection).
Ajoke Oyegbami is a research fellow with a focus on the dissemination of agricultural technologies to farmers. Her main objective is to help farmers increase agricultural production and improve standards of living, and to bring about improvements in educational, social, economic and political developments. Sikiru Ajijola, is a senior research fellow specialising in agricultural production and resource economics.