Agroecology and Agricultural Innovations

Would a second Green Revolution put an end to world hunger? Probably not! A new context requires a new response: it is time to innovate. We are closely monitoring advances in agroecology and agricultural innovations in order to encourage their rapid dissemination.

The issues

Following the example of developed countries in the post-war period, some developing countries, particularly in South-East Asia, opted in the 1960s for an agricultural development model based on three pillars: varietal selection, mechanisation-irrigation and inputs (chemical fertilisers and phytosanitary products). Agricultural productivity then increased considerably, making it possible to avoid famines and supporting the demographic growth of these countries. As a corollary, this Green Revolution led to the exclusion of certain categories of farmers who did not have access to the new factors of production and caused a sharp deterioration in natural resources (depletion of organic elements and microbial activity in the soil, soil and water pollution, etc.). In the current context, where many farmers in the South do not have the capacity to invest, where the price of fossil fuels is rising and where environmental degradation and climate change are increasing, it is necessary to think about less costly systems that are accessible to the greatest number of people, more respectful of the environment, better adapted and more resilient to climate change, and potentially replicable on a very large scale.


Our services

The two main problems currently facing farmers in the South are the maintenance of soil fertility and water management. In a slash-and-burn system (dominant in the tropics) where the fallow/crop cycle is shortened, soil fertility decreases. As for water management, it is becoming increasingly complex, with the soil’s retention capacity diminishing as it deteriorates and rainfall becoming more erratic. To face these current challenges, but also others to be expected, agricultural innovations exist, either mature or still at the R&D stage, sometimes grouped under the generic name of agroecology, climate-smart agriculture or regenerative agriculture. We support international and local development actors in the promotion of good practices and adapted innovations such as integrated pest management, varietal adaptation, crop rotation, soil organic matter renewal and water saving techniques. In particular, we offer training sessions on agroecological management principles and climate-smart agriculture to development practitioners, and we provide support and advice at different phases of the project cycle, from formulation to evaluation, to actors funding or implementing agroecological transition projects.

References in this area