Last changed: 17 December 2019

Europe and Africa face similar challenges in in-creasing the sustainability of agriculture and food systems. Until recently there has been no coherent approach that addresses the identification of effective strategies for sustainable intensification of agriculture for producers, consumers and decision-makers. 

In response to an H2020 call from the European Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), European and African institutions agreed to jointly engage in the preparation of an ambitious new partnership; one that is long-term and makes science-based knowledge available to policymakers and farmers. The partnership, IntensAfrica, received funding for a networking grant (PROIntensAfrica), starting in May 2015. This gave the partnership its first step forward in their mandate to identify which areas of science should be addressed, which already-existing programmes can be included and, not least, the impacts that can be expected.

Through SLU, Sweden is part of the programme leadership and together with colleagues from Crop Research Institute in Ghana is responsible for leading work on developing principles for fair allocation of resources among partners and structures to allow genuine co-ownership of the programme.

SLU professors Rodomiro Ortiz and Erik Steen Jensen have been involved in setting the scientific agenda for the programme. Coordinated by Gert Nyberg, the Triple L research group is involved in the partnership as a case study giving a better un- derstanding of how smaller research groups can be incorporated into future larger partnerships within the IntensAfrica network.

The step-wise funding scheme of the IntensAfrica partnership allows time to build solid collaborations between two continents. The objective of this initiative is only achievable through a concerted and persistent effort and by tapping into the wealth and diversity of existing partnerships and projects in different agro-ecological situations, socioeconomic contexts, and policy environments that are already working on sustainable intensifcation.

When implemented, the IntensAfrica partnership will be co-managed by the African and European partners.