Bringing agro-ecological alternatives to light
A process of reflection & engagement in West Africa
Over the course of 2017, the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES-Food) will seek 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 explore alternative pathways. Emerging evidence suggests that diversified agroecological systems have major potential to provide an exit strategy from industrial agriculture and deliver productive and sustainable food systems. Through dialogue, consultation and collaborative research, IPES-Food will work with local partners to explore how agroecology is understood and applied in the West African context, how it is performing and what obstacles it faces. The key objectives are to consolidate the knowledge base on agricultural alternatives, 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.