Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, March 18, 2024

Regional Multi-actor Research Network (RMRN) Consortium on Agroecology

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and the The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) alongside the Agroecology Consortium, EC-Joint Research Centre (EC-JRC) and the EC Directorate General’s Department for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) have launched the Regional Multi-actor Research Network (RMRN) Consortium on Agroecology to support the Regional Centres of Excellence (RCoEs) related to Green Transition, as part of the FARA and RUFORUM component on agroecology.

AGRICONSULTING EUROPE S.A will assure the Technical support to INTPA for the coordination of the “Scientific and technological support to the Regional centres of Excellence related to Green Transition" (INTPA/2023/EA-RP/0016
  • Number of tenders received: 6
  • It will provide technical assistance to improve cross-sectoral and cross-regional coordination and strategic steering of the RCoEs in Sub-Saharan Africa. 
  • In particular: a programme coordination mechanism; exchange and dissemination of knowledge and information; creation and consolidation of inter-sectoral networking opportunities and of linkages with other STI –green transition initiatives
  • see also here

The RMRN Project is funded by the European Union (EU) as part of its Regional Multi-year Indicative Programme (MIP) for Africa (2021-2027) (# 75 pages)
  • The MIP will support strengthening the consortia of Africa based institutions to lead interventions in Africa in several domains including multi-stakeholder partnerships to bring agroecological innovations to scale, using co-learning, co-creation, and multi-stakeholder approach. 
Page 29: Sustainable Agri-food systems. Result 3.1: Agricultural research-action lead to innovation, supporting the agro-ecological transition for climate resilient and sustainable agri-food systems; monitoring and learning is shared. The EU will support testing, scaling and sharing innovation in support to the agro-ecological transition and to sustainable aquatic systems, towards heathier diets by working with key regional networks and centres of excellence such as FARA and global networks based in Africa (CGIAR centres) including CORAF, ASARECA, CCARDESA, to name only a few). Partnerships will be fostered with international and European research and innovation organisations, farmers’ organisations as well as associations in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and private sector operators in agriculture, fisheries and food value chains. The topics covered would include pests and diseases, pesticides risk reduction, the contribution of forests and fisheries to food security and nutrition, resilient crop varieties, orphan crops (linked to the dedicated consortium), research and monitoring on land use / biodiversity, research, knowledge and data in support of Africa’s Great Green Wall. Building on ongoing initiatives such as the EU-Africa Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture (FNSSA-Partnership), there is a strong potential for Team Europe Initiatives.  
Page 64Sustainable Agri-food systems. Results 3.1 to 3.5
The proposed actions will promote partnership with relevant institutions such as Farmer organizations under the Pan African Farmers Organization (PAFO), extension institutions under the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory services (AFAAS), NGOs, CSOs, the private sector, and financial institutions.
  • Regional Multi-actor Research Network (RMRN) on agroecology in West and Central Africa (WCA).
  • Regional Multi-actor Research Network (RMRN) Consortium on Agroecology in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Region
During the launch the RMRN project implementing partners and participants were granted first hand experiences and interactions with agro-ecological value chains at NARO Uganda as well as exposure to wide ranges of coffee and cocoa products during the agro-ecology familiarization field visit at The National Coffee Research Institute NaCORI.


The aim of the RMRN is to build excellence in research and education based on innovative approaches by mobilising and engaging with a diversity of stakeholders ranging from universities, agricultural research institutions, multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, multi-sectoral private-sector actors, farmer’s organisations and the civil society. The ultimate goal is to develop sustainably productive and resilient agri-food systems, able to address current aspirations and emerging challenges (food security, climate change, biodiversity loss, land degradation, water scarcity).

The RMRN overall objective is to contribute to a sustainable agri-food system transition based on agroecological principles. The transition towards agroecological agri-food systems is an effective pathway supported by a broad range of multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral actors such as researchers, policy makers, civil society, traders, and consumers. It requires new knowledge, competences, and policies to address complex situations, as well as challenges and co-create solutions based on agroecological principles and the integration of scientific and local knowledge.

The Specific Objectives are to:
  • Strengthen the scientific and technological capacities of RMRN Consortium to produce, collect, access, process, share data / information guided by agroecology principles and using a gender-sensitive approach.
  • Increase the RMRN’s Consortium contribution to scientific knowledge and innovation for agroecology through transformative quality multi-disciplinary research.
  • Enhance the RMRN Consortium support to agroecology practitioners, scientists, consumers, and policymakers with a gender-sensitive approach.
  • Agrobiodiversity to support agroecological processes. Agrobiodiversity (crops, animals, mycorrhiza/bacteria) is key to support ecological processes towards healthy soils, diversified cropping and farming systems for better production and resilience, Page 7 sur 15 diversified landscapes to provide eco-systemic services.
  • Soil health to improve production and eco-system services. Soils are the basis of food and non-food production and generate eco-system services (water cycle, carbon storage, etc.). There is a need to address knowledge gaps regarding ecological processes and the development of solutions
    based on ecological processes (including bio- and organic fertilisers).
  • Integrated pest management based on agroecological processes. Pest and diseases are challenging production in Africa. Developing new solutions based on ecological processes is a priority to avoid an overwhelming dependence on chemical pesticides.
  • Water management to address climate change. In the context of increasing climate change, the need for better monitoring and innovative solutions is more and more important to deal with risks (drought and flood) and to manage water for agricultural production.
  • Adapted mechanisation for small-scale farmers to increase productivity and farmers’ incomes. Low labour productivity is a key issue to be addressed to improve production and make farmers activities more attractive and less painful especially for youth and women.
  • Digitalisation for agroecology. Digital tools are developed and more and more used in the
    agricultural sector in Africa to monitor crops and manage resources such as pasture or water, to facilitate access to markets (price information, traceability, etc.) and services (inputs, advisory services, etc.). 
  • Value chains to scale agroecology. It is a priority to scale agroecology through value chains able to valorise agricultural production based on agroecological principles to increase farmers’ incomes. 
  • Innovation service supports. Farmers need support to develop and improve agroecological farming systems in a changing context. However, advisory services and other innovation support services (incubators, innovation platforms, etc.) are to be adapted or strengthened to provide relevant and effective services with a holistic farm approach, based on the principles of agroecology and aimed at strengthening capacities and valorising local knowledge.
  • Institutions and policies as drivers for agroecological transitions. The food system transition depends on the institutional and policy landscape. Global, continental, and national policies drive the food systems transition and may shape an enabling environment to scale agroecology. 
At the end of the three years of the project, technical capacities and skill of researchers and scientists would have been built to carry out scientific studies in agroecology; improved infrastructural access by the RMRNs to carry out quality research and studies in Agroecology; available and accessible quality agroecology knowledge products and information; platform for knowledge exchange and information sharing/exchange would have been established; improved research-policy linkage; strengthened collaboration between the RMRNs and the Pan-African Network for economic Analysis of Policies (PANAP), and increased Advocacy for agroecology principles and practices.

Related: 9-10 March 2024. Tunisia. The ANzAR Forum 2023: Agroecology in North Africa

The aim of this forum was, in a convivial atmosphere, to share the experiences and knowledge of farmers, researchers, associations and consumers on agroecology, while creating a network in North Africa around this subject. 

This multi-stakeholder forum on agroecology in North Africa, organized by the Centre de recherche en économie appliquée pour le développement (Cread Algérie), the Institut national agronomique de Tunisie (INAT), CIRAD and INRAe (France), took place at the Gaïa farm near Tunis. It brought together over 50 people from Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and France. The forum was organized as part of the ANzAR project funded by Agropolis Fondation and the Systèmes irrigués au North Africa (dP Sirma) partnership. The aim of this project is to create an agroecology network in North Africa.

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