Regional Meeting on Agroecology in Sub-Saharan Africa
Dakar, Senegal, 5-6 November 2015
A regional meeting for Africa on agroecology Saharan Africa will take place on 5 and 6 November 2015 in Dakar, Senegal. It aims at promoting dialogue on science and implementation experience of agroecology.
On 18-19 September 2014, FAO held an International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition in Rome. This event took place in the context of the FAO’s Strategic Framework, in particular the Objective 2: “Make Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries more Productive and Sustainable”. The Symposium was considered a great success, and brought together 400 scientists, producers, policy makers and representatives from the private and public sectors and NGOs.
During the Symposium, the Director-General of FAO, José Graziano da Silva, announced that FAO would organize regional meetings on Agroecology in Latin America, Africa and Asia. This reflected a lesson learnt from the International Symposium, that effective work on Agroecology would have to be based on local realities and their economic, social and environmental conditions.
This note presents, therefore, the implementation of this decision at the African level. The regional meeting in Latin America took place in June 2015 and those in Asia and the Pacific will be held in November 2015.
The regional meetings will highlight existing best practices in the Region as well as challenges to the adoption of agroecology and identify strategies to overcome them. The meetings will be held with key stakeholders in agroecology: producers and social movements, the private sector, academia and agronomic research institutes, government representatives, FAO officials and representatives of indigenous peoples and local communities.
The holistic approach of agroecology incorporates the traditional knowledge and skills of communities around the world by integrating ecological, agronomic, economic and social research. It has the potential to support strong and democratic food systems that provide income and health services to small-scale family farmers and rural communities while preserving the environment. Agroecological initiatives and practices play roles as diverse as reducing rural poverty, eradicating hunger and malnutrition, achieving sustainable agriculture and development, enhancing the resilience of agriculture to climate change, shifting towards systems that depend less on external agrochemicals, and increasing involvement of traditional knowledge of local communities and indigenous people.
Even though the term “agroecology” is not often explicitly used, many actions and initiatives exist throughout the Sub-Saharan Africa which are based on agroecological principles.
The objective is twofold:
- Assess the current state of agroecological practices in Africa, identify constraints and opportunities and identify the expectations of stakeholders;
- Contribute to the dynamics of agroecological development through experience sharing, and by highlighting and strengthening existing levers.
A comprehensive report on the results of the consultation will be published.
The meeting is organized by the FAO Regional Office for Africa, the FAO Office in Senegal and FAO Headquarters in Rome, as well as the Government of Senegal (Ministry of Agriculture). They are backed by an Advisory Committee for the scientific aspects and a National Commission on Agroecology set up by the Government of Senegal.