Consulting firm specialising in the environment,
agriculture, forestry and rural development

Agricultural innovations

Could a second Green Revolution stop hunger in the world? Probably not! A new context, novel answer: it's time to innovate. We closely follow the agricultural innovations in order to promote their rapid diffusion.


Issues: Like the developed countries during the post-war period, some developing countries, especially in South-East Asia, chose in the 1960s an agricultural development model based on three pillars: breeding, mechanisation-irrigation and inputs (fertilisers and pesticides). As a result, agricultural productivity has increased dramatically, avoiding famine and supporting population growth in these countries. As a corollary, the Green Revolution led to the exclusion of certain categories of farmers who did not have access to new inputs, and it provoked a strong deterioration of natural resources (soil depletion in organic material and microbial activity, soil and water pollution, etc.) In the current context, where many farmers in the southern hemisphere don’t have any investment capacity, where fossil fuel prices rise and where environmental degradation and climate change is increasing, it is necessary to consider less expensive farming systems that are open to as many farmers as possible, in addition to being more environmentally friendly, more responsive and resilient to climate change, and having the potential to be replicated on very large scales.

 

Services: The two main problems currently facing farmers in the southern hemisphere are the maintenance of soil fertility and the management of water resources. In a slash-and-burn farming system (dominant in the tropics) where the fallow/culture cycle shortens, soil fertility decreases. As for water management, it becomes increasingly complex, the retention capacity of the soil decreasing with its own deterioration in addition to erratic rainfall patterns. To face these current challenges as well as future ones, innovations are emerging, in terms of: early warning systems with regard to climate change or food security, monitoring and control of pests and diseases, varietal adaptation, rainwater harvesting and integrated water management, tillage (simplified working, sowing under cover, zero tillage, etc.), crop management (organic farming, agroforestry, silvopastoralism, crop rotation and associations, etc.). Through our local development projects, especially REDD+ projects, we follow and promote these innovations, whether they be mature or still in their infancy, and which are often gathered under the generic name of "climate-smart agriculture."