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FiBL project

Title CONNEctingknowledge, scales and actors; An integrated framework for adaptive organic resource management targeting soil aggradation and agroecosystems’ resilience in Sub-Saharan Africa
Title Original ConneSSA
Official Acronym ConneSSA
FiBL project number 65119
Abstract

Sustainable intensification of smallholder agriculture is fundamental to food security, poverty reduction and conservation of natural resources in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Soil degradation is a major driver of poor agricultural productivity. This implies low resource use efficiencies, including fertilizer, water and labour inputs, and entails low resilience of food systems to climate variability. Effective measures for rehabilitation (or aggradation) of degraded soils rely on organic amendments and agronomic practices that increase soil organic matter. However, variation in social and biophysical contexts across SSA underpins the need to target aggradation measures to the local context, including locally available soil amendments.

The project objectives will be addressed in three interrelated Work Packages (WPs):

  • aggradating degraded soils and enhancing resource use efficiencies (WP1),
  • exploring diversity and optimizing trade-offs (WP2) and
  • linking local capital and science for innovation (WP3).
Project website

https://connessa.uni-hohenheim.de/112305?L=1

Detailed Description

Sustainable intensification of smallholder agriculture is fundamental to food security, poverty reduction and conservation of natural resources in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Soil degradation is a major driver of poor agricultural productivity. This implies low resource use efficiencies, including fertilizer, water and labour inputs, and entails low resilience of food systems to climate variability. Effective measures for rehabilitation (or aggradation) of degraded soils rely on organic amendments and agronomic practices that increase soil organic matter. However, variation in social and biophysical contexts across SSA underpins the need to target aggradation measures to the local context, including locally available soil amendments.

In particular, there is an urgency to improve diagnosis of soil-related fertility constraints (‘responsiveness of soils’). Optimization of the use of organic resources further needs to take into account trade-offs in resource availability and human well-being at different spatial and temporal scales. Reallocation of organic resources may simply transfer nutrient depletion from one site to another, while changes in labour requirements may disproportionally affect certain social groups (e.g. gender-related).

This project builds on the premise that integrated solutions for sustainable land use, combined with local adaptation of soil fertility management are urgently needed to address the challenges associated with smallholder agriculture in SSA. We aim to develop a generic knowledge network that connects (it:connessa) scales and actors towards adaptive soil fertility management and agroecosystems’ resilience. It is part of the ERAfrica program, fostering African-European partnership in research.

The project objectives will be addressed in three interrelated Work Packages (WPs):

  • aggradating degraded soils and enhancing resource use efficiencies (WP1),
  • exploring diversity and optimizing trade-offs (WP2) and
  • linking local capital and science for innovation (WP3).

We will concentrate activities in focal sites that represent different agroecological contexts across East (Kenya) and West Africa (Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire) as well as social issues (e.g. population density, proximity to urban areas). The project will capitalize on existing projects and novel analytical capacity for diagnosis of soil responsiveness and contribute to a better understanding of pathways for soil aggradation. Existing data and research trials will support model adaptations required for trade-off analysis at different spatial and temporal scales. Tools for participatory scenario evaluations will be shared and adapted to the local context. Finally, the project will recommended policies and practices for local adaption of organic resource management. ConneSSA will foster integration of scientific disciplines and creates important added value to existing research and stakeholder networks at the focal sites. Training of young scientists and scientific networking warrants effective use of human capacity and project resources.

FiBL’s role in ConneSSA is to cover the socio-economic dimension, to facilitate the descriptions of the farming systems and the societal components of the sites and to assure a smooth participatory approach in implementation.

Project status completed
Start of project 01.08.2014
End of project 31.12.2017
(Research) Programme
  • European Union: 7th Research Framework Programme
Project partners
  • Eldoret University / Kenya
  • Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) / France
  • Centre International de Coopération Agronomique pour le Developpement (CIRAD) / Burkina Faso
  • University of Ouagadougou / Burkina Faso
  • Nangui Abrogoua University (NAU) / Côte d Ivoire
  • FiBL / Austria
  • Kenyatta University / Kenya
  • KU Leuven, Department of Earth and Environmental Sci-ences (KUL) / Belgium
FiBL project leader/ contact
Role of FiBL

Support on WP3 (scientific concept and design, advice and coaching)

Research area
Themes
Date modified 04.06.2019
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