Agriculture and Climate change specialist receives 2021 Norman Borlaug award
Agriculture and Climate Change Specialist at Africa Rice Centre, Dr. Elliott Dossou-Yovo was conferred the 2021 Norman E. Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.
Rockefeller Foundation, the supporter of this award recognized Dr. Dossou-Yovo’s effort in spearheading innovative water management systems for resilient rice production in the face of climate change.
Due to his groundbreaking research and close collaboration with smallholder farmers, thousands of rice farmers have been empowered across West Africa through the use of climate-smart cultivation techniques to earn greater incomes, achieve food and nutrition security while enhancing the agroecosystems.
He has a B.sc and M.sc in Natural Resources Management from the University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin and a Ph.D. in soil science from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.
In 2016, Dr. Dossou-Yovo joined AfricaRice as an International Consultant in Data Analysis and Project Management. He currently researches as an Associate Principal Scientist and Climate Change Specialist.
During his time at AfricaRice, he restored research laboratories and fields abandoned for eleven years due to civil unrest in Côte d’Ivoire. His tenacity produced impressive achievements which led to his promotion as Lead, AfricaRice climate-related research activities.
Poneering a low-cost and participatory approach for land and water development called ‘Smart-Valleys’ in Burkina Faso, there was an improved and efficient use of fertilizer and reduced impact of drought on rice plants.
In addition, he also developed training guides and conducted capacity-building activities to enable farmers, extension agents and technicians to adopt Smart-Valleys.
The Smart-Valleys is now included in Benin’s National Strategy for Irrigation and is proposed for inclusion in the National Rice Development Strategy of Burkina Faso.
In Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, Dossou-Yovo has led the adaptation of the alternate wetting and drying irrigation method (AWD), which has reduced the use of irrigation water and diminished weed infestations while maintaining the same rice yield as farmers who were continuously flooding the field.
Using digital tools such as modelling and Geographical Information Systems, as well as household surveys, Dossou-Yovo has conducted analytic studies to develop demand-driven technologies not only at the farm level, but at community and regional levels.
He also collaborates with stakeholders such as farmers, extension officers, and partners in National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) to adapt, evaluate and scale agricultural technologies.
Dossou-Yovo now heads several project collaborations with prominent CGIAR centres, the World Bank, universities, development agencies such as Rikolto, private industry and other organizations in Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo and Tanzania.