The agroecology newsletter - April 2023. Issue 3

By Admin / 1 month ago

Transforming agriculture and food in West Africa is a complex challenge.

Working closely and acting togeth-
er allows the different actors in the sector to articulate the six major and inseparable pillars of a sustainable,
agro-ecological transformation of agriculture and food systems. First of all, capacity building for farmers in sustainable agricultural practices, integration of agriculture-livestock-forestry, diversification, rotation and association of crops, management of water whose cycle is increasingly on the verge of breaking, soil conservation techniques and more generally the restoration of soil fertility, etc. is crucial. This can be done through training programmes, awareness raising and advisory support.

Second, promoting research and innovation is essential to improve agricultural productivity, reduce crop losses and improve food quality. Strengthening participatory agricultural research in West Africa and supporting innovation and the co-construction of knowledge help farmers to produce more

The third pillar is the production of alternative inputs to synthetic chemical fertilisers and pesticides, based on biomass and natural biodiversity. It reduces producers’ dependence on international firms, reconciling local know-how with modern methods of nature-based intensification to reduce production costs and pollution and increase their sources of

Collaboration between actors in the supply chain is the fourth pillar. Farmers, processors, retailers and consumers must work together to improve food quality and enhance food safety. It is therefore important to promote high value-added products and to enhance their value. This requires partner-
ships between these different actors in the value chains.

Fifth pillar, rural infrastructure. To improve agricultural productivity and market access, it is important to develop and improve rural infrastructure, such as roads, markets, warehouses, irrigation networks, access to energy and water, etc.
This requires close cooperation with local and regional authorities and the state. This requires close cooperation with local authorities and the state.

Finally, it is essential to support sustainable agricultural policies that focus on agricultural productivity, natural resource protection and food security. It is therefore important to support policies that promote sustainable agriculture in West Africa, including incentive mechanisms: financing, land
tenure security, etc.

Together we can transform agriculture for a more sustainable, productive and resilient food system in West Africa.