PROIntensAfrica presents strategy proposal: Harnessing the potential of diverse intensification pathways for Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture
The need to unlock the potential of African agriculture is broadly acknowledged, and it has resulted in many research and innovation projects and programs. Yet many efforts are scattered. Lack of alignment may well result in missing the potential for synergy and convergence. It may hamper large-scale projects as each individual project is limited in scale.
Realizing that much is needed and much is possible, the IntensAfrica Consortium emerged in 2012 with the objectives to document the variety of pathways leading to sustainable intensification, and to align efforts in doing so. African and European members of the consortium agreed to jointly engage in the preparation of a new, strategic, long-term and ambitious research and innovation partnership between Europe and Africa in the thematic area of sustainable intensification of agri-food systems.
In 2015, the PROIntensAfrica project was formulated to develop such partnership, and, with funding of the EC, was carried out for two years with active involvement of 23 African and European partners. The report “Harnessing the potential of diverse intensification pathways for Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture: Outline for a long-term EU–Africa Research and Innovation Partnership” is the final output of this project.
The project identified four different pathways leading to sustainable intensification. These pathways demonstrate the richness and variety of options that are open to farmers. The pathways differ in vision and mission, in organization and governance, in dimensionality, in technology and in the use of resources. They range from conventional agriculture to organic farming, and were studied both through a literature survey and by in-situ case studies.
The four identified pathways serve as a typology, there are of course many more pathways and related systems that are in use and/or are possible. Combining elements of various pathways will probably yield systems that are better adapted and optimized than the benchmarked systems. Revealing this potential depends on efficient research and innovation programs, and is expected to be highly rewarding.
PROIntensAfrica’s results are already feeding into new collaborative efforts to continue to build a jointly funded and governed EU-AU research partnership on sustainable agriculture and food and nutrition security. The new ERA-Net LEAP-AGRI follows the work of both ERAfrica and PROIntensAfrica. Next steps for IntensAfrica are also being mapped for the next EU framework programmes.
Report “Harnessing the potential of diverse intensification pathways for Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture: Outline for a long-term EU–Africa Research and Innovation Partnership” is the final output of this project.
More information (and the report) can be found on the PROIntensAfrica website