Initiative aiming at linking more effectively research and innovation with development. Funded by the EU, this intends to boost innovation in agriculture and food systems transformation in low and middle-income countries with a view to be more resilient to the effects of climate change. It particularly emphasises the Sahel region, the poorest region in the world, where family farming is highly vulnerable to land degradation and climate change. In the framework of the DeSIRA initiative, four projects have been recently (2020 – 2025) funded on different agriculture-related topics in West-Africa, including sustainable integration of crop and livestock systems (CASSECS), agro-ecological practices (FAIR) and crop improvement (ABEE and APSAN). ABEE and APSAN are two tightly linked projects involving four countries in WA (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal) led by CORAF and ICRISAT respectively. These two projects aim at modernizing breeding by setting breeding priorities on the basis of market and user demand, building human, infrastructure and equipment capacities of NARS, digitizing data and reinforcing the sustainability of the regional crop testing network.