A step forward for agroecology in Africa

The First FAO African Agroecology Symposium took place on 5-6 November in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. Actors from a wide range of sectors came together to share ideas and experiences and to discuss opportunities to strengthen agroecology on the continent. Biovision Foundation and its partner organisations Biovision Africa Trust and The Millennium Institute made an active contribution to the symposium’s programme.

Picture Sokhna Mbaye Diop

Ms Sokhna Mbaye Diop (left) presenting

Over 300 participants representing producers, civil society organisations, governments, the private sector, the academia and agronomic research institutes gathered in Dakar for this two-day event. The opening speeches were held by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN) Director-General José Graziano Da Silva, Senegalese President Macky Sall and Senegalese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Equipment Papa Abdoulaye Seck. The discussions of the symposium covered many different angles: agroecology as a pathway for food security, agroecology in the context of climate change, social innovation and technology for agroecology and public policies to promote agroecology.

The Millennium Institute, Biovision and Biovision Africa Trust played an active role presenting their experiences in promoting sustainable agriculture policies, i.e. with the T21 model, and coordinating the Ecological Organic Agriculture Initiative with political support from the African Union. Ms Sokhna Mbaye Diop, Technical Advisor at the Senegalese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment and member of the T21 modelling team for the CCGA project highlighted the added value of investing in ecological practices on a large set of indicators, including food security, rural poverty and environmental degradation in her presentation at the symposium.

After two days of intensive exchange, the participants identified opportunities and constraints for a transition to agroecology in Africa. The fruit of their reflexion was synthesised in a set of recommendations (click here), which was handed to the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.

Upcoming is the FAO Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Agroecology for Asia and the Pacific, which will take place in Bangkok, Thailand on 24-26 November 2015. The Regional Seminar on Agroecology in Latin America and the Caribbean was held earlier this year in Brasilia, Brazil on 24-26 June 2015. The theme of Agroecology for Food Security was launched at a first International Symposium last year, 18-19 September 2014 in Rome, at the seat of the FAO.

To the official press release of FAO