DIVAGRI aims to increase the productivity, income and economic opportunities of subsistence and smallholder farmers in arid and semi-arid regions of Sub-Saharan Africa by implementing state-of-the-art, innovative bio-based solutions that will improve agricultural production, enable diversification of crops and increase added-value, create environmental, social and economic sustainability, and generate new local economic opportunities.
Based on identified challenges and mitigation measures, the following project objectives were defined. The overall goal of the DIVAGRI project is to provide African subsistence and smallholder farmers with tools to sustainably improve farm productivity, profitability and resilience through improved management of farming resources, output diversification and creation of high-value circular bioproducts. DIVAGRI targets the following specific objectives (SO):
Specific Objective 01
Co-design and co-develop bio-based solutions (BBS) together with rural farming communities and cross- transfer sustainable farming practices
Specific Objective 02
Testing and adapting BBS in diverse contexts to improve productive conditions, in particular freshwater availability and soil health
Specific Objective 03
Diversify crops, increase farm productivity and economic return at pilot sites and farmer field demos
Specific Objective 04
Create new sources of income in targeted rural farming communities through new bioproducts from residues
Specific Objective 05
Integrate BBS into existing agri-food systems and promote widespread uptake of DIVAGRI solutions
The DIVAGRI concept is embedded within the wider global transition to a circular bioeconomy. By building on sustainable local practices, co-developing selected BBS and non-technical frameworks, and integrating them into existing agri-food systems, the project aims to transform these production systems into more diversified, circular and sustainable agri-food systems, connected with the wider bioeconomy and creating a multitude of new opportunities for value creation, while also boosting local production of nutritious and more diverse food.
We have established a consortium of partners with the competence, commitment, vision and reliability to meet the requirements of this call. The consortium is composed of experts in the agricultural sciences, engineering, bio-based technologies, food systems, circular bioeconomy, business and entrepreneurship and education in 5 African (South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Ghana) and 6 European countries.
The chosen partners, with the exception of Ghana, are located in arid areas of Southern Africa where effects of climate change are already severely impacting agricultural production. The European project partners include applied R&D institutes (experts in technology and know-how transfer) while the African project partners include leading R&D institutes that are experts in cross-border research cooperation and technology transfer, education institutions, entities responsible for extension services and public policy implementation, private sector firms and small-scale farms. Lead partners for five technical work packages are scientific R&D partners in South Africa (ARC and SU), Namibia (NUST), Ghana (UCC and CSIR) and Botswana (NARDI).