Agro-ecological farming in West Africa

One of our readers responded to our item in the previous newsletter about the first African symposium of the 4per1000 Initiative (Johannesburg 24 to 26 October 2018) by letting us know about an exciting project:  “Agro-ecological Transition Support Project in West Africa” was launched in Abuja (Nigeria) on 27 April.

This is an 8 million euro project involving Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Togo. Its purpose is to support agro-ecological transition in West Africa through the financing of projects that support agro-ecological intensification and exchanges of experience. Financed by the French Development Agency (AFD), the main priority of the project is to support agro-ecology in particular on family farms in order to help them produce high quality food sustainably and in sufficient quantities while facing changes in climate.

As we have stressed in other Newsletters, agro-ecology is increasingly becoming the point of reference for sustainable food production. It seems that people are finally realizing that the industrial approach to farming, with its dependence on chemicals and monocultures, is no longer acceptable because of the damage it causes to the planet. The FAO has enthusiastically adopted this agro-ecological approach: representatives from more than 70 countries met in Rome in April to discuss this healthier and more sustainable method of food production.

The AFD’s project for West Africa is the result of this improved understanding and relaunches in these five West African countries a way of farming that is sensitive to soil erosion, to climate change and to public health.