As the global population grows, agri-food systems face numerous complex challenges. These challenges are further exacerbated as accelerating global warming, and other human activities, impact upon the adaptation capacity of agricultural production and ecosystems. These factors are predicted to have the most serious impact on the African continent. In North and West Africa current farming systems face multiple challenges affecting agricultural productivity. Agronomic systems and practices have caused the large-scale degradation of soils and agro-ecosystems, which has reduced their capacity to store water and nutrients, and therefore their ability to support farming and maintain plant health.
To help address these challenges, The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) is coordinating this EU-funded project on Sustainable Intensification of food production in West & North Africa (SustInAfrica). By developing resilient and sustainable farming systems in West & North Africa, SustInAfrica aims to empower smallholder farmers, small and medium-sized enterprises and various government and non-governmental organizations in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Egypt and Tunisia, to intensify food production and deliver ecosystem services in a sustainable and resilient manner.
“The project will strive to attain this by providing a comprehensive analysis of local ecosystems, in addition to offering soil, water and plant health management strategies. It will also provide business models and policies and help develop related technologies that support farmers in their decision making”, said the project coordinator. SustInAfrica consists of 16 partner organisations from 11 countries.
FC.ID & FCUL team in SustInAfrica, lead by Cristina Branquinho, is composed of researchers from the cE3c/eChanges and cE3c/CSES research group, and will develop work related to the quantification of Ecosystem Services in the agroecosystems studied in the project.
EU Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement 861924.
LUKE - Natural Resources Institute Finland, FI; UH - University of Helsinki, FI; ATB - Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering & Bioeconomy, DE; CIHEAM - Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, IT; ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics & Management, PT; FC.ID - FCiências.ID Associação para a Investigação e Desenvolvimento de Ciências, PT; BOKU - University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences Vienna, AT; Self Help Africa, IE; University of Cape Coast, GH; University for Development Studies, GH; DexAfrica Ltd., GH; Farmerline Ltd., GH; University of Dédougou, BF; Abdou Moumouni University, NE; Cairo University & Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development, EG; Olive Tree Institute, TN.