Conference: Mitigating HIV/AIDS Impacts on Agriculture

Date: 1-4 October 2007, Cotonou, Benin


The interrelationships between HIV/AIDS, agriculture, nutrition and food security are complex and the potential impacts of this growing crisis for West Africa’s rural households and communities are serious. HIV/AIDS has several serious agriculture-related impacts, including the loss of family labor for production and resource management, loss of livelihoods, assets, and local ecological knowledge, and the adoption of increasingly unsustainable coping strategies and technologies. These devastating consequences highlight the grim reality of the pandemic as a development challenge, and underscore the urgent need for strategic action.

The linkages and relationships among the community of actors in HIV/AIDS mitigation, including community based implementing organizations, policy makers, funding agencies and research institutions have not generally been strongly accentuated in development practice. Highlighting such linkages will foster collaborative learning and enhance the incorporation of such learning in the design and delivery of future programmes.

In West Africa in particular, there is very little empirical knowledge on the particular needs of HIV/AIDS affected households, especially with regards to agricultural and nutritional maintenance and improvements. A further issue which emerges in the field is the practical difficulty of implementing training, outreach and agricultural extension work with often illiterate, elderly people.

Across Africa, many innovative projects and models responding to these challenges are being implemented to mitigate the effects of HIV/AIDS. Experiences that have been gained provide a rich opportunity for learning and exchange among the practitioner and research community in West Africa. These in turn can usefully inform and guide new programs and policies at various levels.

The goal of the conference is to provide a platform for exchange, sharing of knowledge and learning about best practices/technologies for mitigating the agricultural, food security and nutritional impacts of HIV/AIDS on rural communities in West Africa.

The objectives are to:

  • Enhance learning and information sharing between program implementers on best practices/technologies and lessons learned
  • Build and strengthen partnerships for continued learning and research
  • Identify ways of improving collaboration among a wide array of entities (project, governments, nonprofits, donor and private sector) as a sustainable strategy to address the food and nutrition requirements of people infected with, and communities affected by HIV/AIDS
  • Explore ways to provide short term relief and map out strategies for scaling up promising pilot projects on HIV/AIDS, agriculture, food security and nutrition
  • Bring together policy makers and people with practical experience in scaling up successful experiences
  • Launch a capacity building effort in collaboration with partners in sub-Saharan Africa

Expected Outputs

  • Strengthened networks for research and action for HIV/AIDS mitigation established
  • Prioritized research and action agenda elaborated
  • A framework for action with a coherent form developed
  • A portfolio of creative strategies and practices in agricultural systems for prevention, care and mitigation against HIV/AIDS elaborated
  • Strategies for joint fund-raising developed
  • Capacity building strategy developed

Africa Rice Centre (Warda); Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA); Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

R.A. Agboh-Noameshie (
J. Woodend (

Further information

Conference Abstracts

PDF (256 kb)
02 August 2007
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