Agroecological Alternatives in West Africa
Read the concept note in English / French
Over the course of 2017-2018, the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) is engaging in a process of open-ended engagement, consultation, alliance-building and collaborative research to support and stimulate an open reflection on the future of agricultural development in West Africa.
While industrial agriculture and ‘Green Revolution’ approaches promise short-term increases in productivity, they are yet to provide a convincing answer to the question of how countries can feed themselves now and in the future: reducing their reliance on imported food and farming inputs, adapting to climate change, sustaining the resource base and providing nutritious diets for all. It is therefore crucial to think beyond industrial agriculture and explore alternative pathways.
The evidence compiled in IPES-Food's 2016 report, From Uniformity to Diversity, suggests that diversified agroecological systems have major potential to provide an exit strategy from industrial agriculture and deliver productive and sustainable food systems.
The key objectives of the project are to consolidate the knowledge base on agricultural alternatives, to support efforts to bring these alternatives to light, and to pave the way for a meaningful debate where different agri-development visions can be confronted and a way forward can be collectively defined.
In its initial phase the project will be focused primarily on the West African region, in order to develop detailed understanding of the state of play and opportunities for transition in specific contexts.
Over the coming months, IPES-Food will be identifying and contacting a range of local actors in order to understand their activities and explore potential consultation and collaboration opportunities. Opportunities to bring forward this reflection through upcoming events and dialogues with policymakers will also be sought from the outset. Engagement is foreseen with actors working at the local, national and regional levels across West Africa. IPES-Food is interested in hearing from all of those building, studying and advocating for sustainable food systems in West Africa and across the continent, and invites those interested in collaborating to make contact as soon as possible.
This project is made possible by support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA).