The Field Visit took place on the second day of the Task Force (TF) Mission to Nouakchott, Mauritania, on 16 March 2023. The wheat experts traveled to the Rosso area to see the wheat trials and production sites, to talk to local breeders about the challenges they face with wheat growing, and to identify the primary needs, such as the urgent provision of training on farming practices. Furthermore, the TF Members had an opportunity to talk to wheat producers to exchange feedback and learn about the support they require in order to be encouraged to cultivate wheat same as rice crops.
The Wrap-Up Meeting took place on the final day, 17 March 2023, with the purpose of reporting on the Mission of the Task Force to government representatives of Mauritania, while evaluating the current status of the wheat production challenges. The official part was attended by H.E. Mr. Sidi Mohamed Ould Taleb Amar, Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mr. Ahmed Salem Ould El Arbi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture, a representative of the Food Security Commission of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and H.E. Prof. Yerlan Baidaulet, the IOFS Director General. The Task Force Members reviewed the assessment completed in two days and defined critical factors of wheat production in Mauritania, emphasizing the importance of providing capacity building to all stakeholders in the wheat value chain and encouraging the government to change their strategies to boost domestic wheat production rather than relying on wheat imports. It was observed by the experts that despite the strategic importance of wheat in Mauritania, it is still cultivated in a very traditional way, lacking production technologies.
The long-term goal of the project is to increase wheat production and productivity in Mauritania to realize self-sufficiency and sustainable food security through the generation of sustainable smart-climate innovations, including resilient wheat germplasm and integrated crop management options. The project will focus on finalizing the release and dissemination of mature technologies and innovation, including varieties and other cultural practices, and to enable its dissemination and adoption by farmers and wheat producers through establishing innovation platforms in different wheat-growing areas. To achieve this, the project will work in collaboration with international centers like ACSAD and AOAD, as well as national wheat research programs in countries with similar environmental conditions to Mauritania.
In his address, the IOFS Director General stressed that the project will be run for a long time, focusing on key issues and integrating with other ongoing actions to improve the wheat system in the country, as well as the value of the Task Force's visit and all arranged meetings as a valuable asset to the project, which will lead to result-oriented tasks with practical recommendations and a common position of all stakeholders to implement this regional project.
In his statement, the Minister of Water and Sanitation emphasized the significance of this regional project in impacting agricultural development through a thoughtful scientific program and a clear plan of action that will lead to the localization of this crop cultivation and the adoption of best agricultural practices to increase the performance of the agricultural sector in general and wheat cultivation in particular. In addition, the Minister stated the government’s full support in opening all horizons of cooperation and providing all facilities to establish a permanent cooperation program in all fields, especially in seed production, research, training and technology transfer.