The seventh edition of the Interdrought conference (Plant production in water limited environments), IDVII, was held from November 29 to December 2, 2022 in Dakar, Senegal. For its first edition on the African continent, the organizers of this conference (Vincent Vadez, IRD; Delphine Luquet and Daniel Fonceka, Cirad; Ndjido Kane, ISRA/Ceraas), historically centered on plant physiology and improvement, have chosen to take a more transversal view angle at the issue of adaptation to drought and pay particular attention to the contexts of smallholders, particularly in Africa.   

To facilitate and energize this interdisciplinarity, the conference was held entirely in plenary session.  In order to valorize as much as possible the scientific content of the conference and to maximize its impact, all the sessions were recorded and all the keynotes and oral presentations are accessible online at the following link: (1) IDVII 2022 – YouTube and on the conference website

The three keynotes of the first session provided a cross-cutting and integrative view of adaptation to drought, from the impact and potential levers at farm level particularly in Africa, the links with climate change, use conflicts of water resources, soil health, up to the translation of this complexity in terms of varietal selection, cultural practices and ecological intensification. 

In the four scientific sessions that followed, the six keynotes, the 28 oral communications and the >100 scientific posters confirmed the need to implement more interdisciplinarity. The role that modeling (mechanistic, machine learning, statistical… ) plays and could play was largely pointed  out, while insisting on the challenge and the urgency for our researches to go back to the field. The challenge of studying the effect of environmental  stresses combined to drought was underlined, as well as that of defining multi-criteria breeding targets (related to crop uses and stresses) locally  specific agro-environmental or social constraints.

 The last session (session 6) was the opportunity of a round table where five invited panelists shared their vision for the future of researches on adaptation to drought and related interdisciplinary challenges interfacing: crop improvement, agroecology, agronomy, social sciences (to take into account the diversity of contexts, including smallholders), soil sciences, upt o digital technologies to guide in decision-making through the diffusion of climatic information or agricultural advices.

 A field trip day was organized for  visiting the experimental station of ISRA-Bambey and Ceraas site. It made it possible to sensitize the Interdrought scientific community to the dynamism and scientific potential of ISRA / Ceraas and ongoing collaborative projects. More generally, IDVII was the opportunity to communicate on our institutions, their activities in West Africa and more particularly on our local partnership networks (IAVAOASAPLMI Lapse and IESOLFaidherbia-flux).

In total, IDVII counted nearly 170 participants ~50% of them scientific being partners from the Southern countries (>80% from Africa). The conference was very attractive for young researchers, particularly from the South, whose work was widely promoted, not only through poster presentations but also through oral presentations (~20% of invited talks).

The conference ended with the presentation of its next edition IDVIII by its organizing team (Charlie Messina, Univ. of Florida; Daniela Bustos-Korts, Univ. Austral de Chile) that will be held in Chile in 2025, in a spirit of interdisciplinary similar to IDVII (1) IDVIII presentation. Looking forward seeing you there!


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