Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Launch of the Montpellier Report

28th May 2013. Borschette, Brussels. Belgium. The European Commission, the Imperial College and CTA organized an event for the launch of the report 'Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture', which aims to provide a new framework for understanding sustainable intensification and offers practical approaches to achieving it.
front cover
'Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture' 

Event Speakers
Chair 1: Jean-Pierre Halkin, Head of Unit, Rural Development, Food Security and Nutrition, Directorate General for Development and Cooperation - EuropeAid, European Commission
Chair 2: Yemi Akinbamijo, the new Executive Director of FARA
Mr David Radcliffe, Montpellier Panel member and Senior advisor: Agricultural Research for Development, DG Development and Cooperation, European Commission
Mr Tom Arnold, Montpellier Panel member, former CEO of Concern Worldwide and Chair of the Convention of the Irish Constitution
Dr Peter Hazell, Montpellier Panel member and Visiting Professor, Imperial College London
H.E. Frédéric Assomption Korsaga, Ambassador of Burkina Faso

CTA Video Guest: Tom Arnold, Montpellier Panel member, on "Sustainable Intensification".

“It is about producing more from less, and in a way that it can be sustained“ (Tom Arnold).

On the occasion of the launch of the Montpellier report entitled 'Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture', which took place on 28th May in Brussels, CTA Brussels discussed with Tom Arnold, former Chief executive of Concern Worldwide and member of the Montpellier Panel, on the meaning of this new concept and the challenges laying ahead in achieving it.

According to Tom Arnold, Montpellier Panel member, and former CEO of Concern Worldwide, (currently Chair of the Convention of the Irish Constitution), the biggest value of the newly launched report lays in its implication for African governments, highlighting the need to create an adequate policy environment that would favor sustainable intensification and the need for a strong commitment over agriculture.

Over recent years, the term “Sustainable Intensification” – producing more outputs with more efficient use of all inputs on a durable basis, while reducing environmental damage and building resilience, natural capital and the flow of environmental services – has come to take on a highly charged and politicised meaning, becoming synonymous with big, industrial agriculture. As we strive to feed a population expected to reach nine billion by 2050 sustainably, the risk is that we may lose sight of the term’s scientific value and its potential relevance to all types of agricultural systems, including for smallholder farmers in Africa.

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