Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: long-term projections suggest that the pressure on food and nutrition security (FNS) will be the highest in Africa as a combined result of low levels of agricultural productivity and high demographic growth rates. Boosting agricultural productivity while ensuring environmental, economic and social sustainability (including the fighting against land degradation/desertification and coping with climate change) is a challenge but essential in lifting poorer rural households out of poverty, ensuring rural employment and the livelihood of the farming community and providing food for an increasing urban population. The Science Agenda for African Agriculture is calling for a transformation of African agriculture. This transformation, which implies better integration of smallholder agriculture in markets and better functioning supply chains, needs to involve agricultural producers and processors. Productivity gains need to be sought beyond agricultural production practices, along the whole supply chain (including postharvest losses, waste). There is a growing recognition that pathways of intensification are diverse and context specific. Hence, concerted efforts on research and innovation on sustainable models of intensification in the agro-food chain and the proofs of concept should be keys to succeed in the endeavour of ensuring sustainable FNS. Several research institutions in EU Member States are exploring the establishment of a large partnership together with research partners in Africa, thus improving the impact of research by joining forces.

Scope: Proposals should develop further the concept and approach expected to be implemented in the partnership. Feasibility, strategic priorities and action plan should be developed taking full account of present and emerging initiatives at national, EU, African (e.g. CAADP and the forthcoming Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa) and global level so as to maximise complementarities and synergies. Furthermore, in addition to technological and economic factors, the strategic action plan should also take anthropological and cultural aspects into account. In line with the objectives of the EU strategy for international cooperation in research and innovation and in particular with the implementation of the EU-Africa dialogue, proposals are encouraged to ensure commitment and participation of a variety of concerned partners established in the EU and in Africa[1].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 1 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

·         creation of a long-term research partnership between Europe and Africa, involving potentially Member States and Associated countries and African countries, the related regional organisations (the EU and the African Union) and sub-regional coordination bodies on research and innovation on sustainable intensification pathways in agro-food systems. Creation of opportunities for private sector development;

·         strong contribution to raising sustainable FNS in Africa in the medium term through socio-economic development

·         better delivery and more efficient spending of research funds through synergies and complementarities between the various entities involved.

Type of action: Coordination and support actions

[1] This is without prejudice to the general rules on the funding of legal entities from third-countries, as set in part A of the annex to the work programme.

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