Scaling-Up Agroecology Essential to Addressing Hunger in the Sahel



Dear Friends and Colleagues 

Scaling-Up Agroecology Essential to Addressing Hunger in the Sahel

Every year in the Sahel, there are over 20 million people (mostly dryland farmers) who are food insecure. They are chronically vulnerable to food and nutrition insecurity due to increasing pressure on land, declining soil fertility, misguided agricultural policies, and climate change. A growing percentage of farm families are caught in a ‘hunger-debt trap’ characterized by falling productivity, loss of assets, and migration.

A guide for civil society entitled “Scaling Agroecology in the Sahel” draws from lessons learnt from cases studies in the Sahel. The publication explains that it is critical to enable small scale farmers to engage in agroecology to build resilience to climate change and to reverse land degradation. But to be successful, this must be accompanied by strategies to integrate nutrition, rural governance, equity, and women’s self-empowerment.

A process to scale up agroecology requires a carefully managed, sequential strategy, adapted to each specific context. There are eight phases in the scaling up process. The three key strategies are:

  • Follow a progressive process: The challenge is to find a way to sequence the promotion of new practices, combining short term gains with longer-term wins for optimal effect.
  • Ensure equity in the scaling process: Ensure the active participation and leadership of the most vulnerable families, and in particular, women.
  • Transform governance and let communities lead: Scaling agroecology is only possible if institutional incentives, norms, resources, policies, and programs are reformed to create a positive enabling environment.

The publication is available here:


With best wishes,

Third World Network
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