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Agro-ecological approaches in African agriculture systems


The EU’s relationship with Africa is a key priority for the EU. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the growing urgency of the climate crisis put pressure both on domestic/local food production and on ecosystems that generate higher health risks with the emergence of new pest and diseases for plants, animals and humans.

The implementation of agro-ecological approaches will alleviate the pressure that agri-food production places on natural ecosystems, contributing to resilience of agri-food systems and facilitating nature-based responses to current and future agri-food risks and threats. Agro-ecological transitions of food systems requires strong food governance with interventions at different level (local, territorial, and value chain) and coherent public policies.

Proposals should build on existing and develop new knowledge, data, models (including indicators) to:

  • Identify and evaluate the most suitable agro-ecological strategies for various farming systems in different agro-ecological zones, in Africa.
  • Deliver a method to identify the best combination of agro-ecological practices for different farming systems, identifying barriers to and drivers of (socioeconomic and ecological) its wide implementation and the conditions, means and tools to support agro-ecological transitions at individual, territorial and systems levels, and including prospective related to access to local and international markets.
  • Develop indicators to monitor and measure the qualitative and quantitative impacts of these strategies for different farming systems, the climate neutrality potential and trade-offs, nutrients flows, biodiversity and improvement of in farm socio-economic resilience.
  • Support farmers, advisory services and actors in value chains in implementing agro-ecological practices by stablishing communities to support capacity building, knowledge exchange, and share best practices across different human communities in relation to agro-ecological practices that contribute to mitigating climate change and other environmental impacts.
  • Identify approaches and methods to enhance the demand for food products resulting from agro-ecological practices, from local, national, regional and international markets.

Proposals must implement the 'multi-actor approach’ and ensure adequate involvement of the farming sector and, as relevant, bio-based industries active in rural areas.