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Revenue diversification pathways in Africa through bio-based and circular agricultural innovations

Project description

Cultivating new sustainable paths for small farms

Smallholder farmers are most exposed to food insecurity, migration, and unsustainable practices. In Sub-Saharan Africa, for instance, farmers are particularly vulnerable to climate change and fluctuations in seasonal rainfall. A consortium of European and African research and development (R&D) organisations have joined forces to address limitations of smallholder agricultural systems where farmers lack the means to invest in improving productivity. Under the EU-funded DIVAGRI project, they will test bio-based technologies and business solutions adapted to rural African contexts to improve farming practices, processing, and access to markets. It will advance the sector’s transition towards circular agriculture and bioeconomy by cultivating sustainable avenues for businesses, services, and value chains in support for rural communities.


Water-scarce regions in Sub-Saharan Africa are most vulnerable to climate change and fluctuations in seasonal rainfall patterns. Agriculture is the most important economic sector in those areas and adaptation strategies must include technical support to subsistence and smallholder farmers who need to apply innovative technologies and practices to cope with environmental stresses and create revenue generating activities. The DIVAGRI project proposes a wide range of bio-based innovative solutions adapted to specific conditions in target countries. Ecosystem restoration in combination with diverse crop production in regenerative agricultural systems, mobile biorefineries for biomass conversion to high-value compounds and bioenergy, and the highly innovative clay-based micro-irrigation system “SLECI” (Self-regulating, Low Energy, Clay-based Irrigation) are solutions developed by DIVAGRI. In addition, building on community participation and co-development of collaborative business models, the project will enable smallholder farmers to increase income and generate new economic opportunities while guaranteeing food security, real rural opportunities, and sustainability. The focus of this project is not only on the primary production sector but also on the food and bio-based industries, thus promoting new partnerships between producers, processors, retailers and consumers and opening new sustainable avenues for businesses, services and value chains in support of rural communities. Developing innovative bio-based technologies characterised by the efficient use of resources and utilisation of waste and by-products, DIVAGRI contributes to the EU research priority of making the transition towards circular agriculture and bioeconomy.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 036 233,75
23966 Wismar

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Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Nordwestmecklenburg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 036 233,75

Participants (20)