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Sustainable agriculture and inclusive food systems: How can DeSIRA make a difference?

Research and innovation are key to addressing the transition to sustainable agriculture and inclusive food systems. Since September 2020, the EU-funded DeSIRA (Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture) initiative supports 47 projects in low and middle-incomes countries. With programmes in Asia, Africa and Latin America, DeSIRA addresses food security, and aims to preserve the nature that we all depend on.

Food systems are an issue of fundamental importance in achieving the Paris Agreement and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is also a highly complex and challenging domain, which includes a vast ensemble of interrelated issues ranging from climate change and biodiversity, to employment and health. Focusing on research and innovation in this field is not new. What is new, is how DeSIRA is doing it.

DeSIRA was launched on 8th September 2020 with a budget of around EUR 270 million. Below are some of the key frameworks of this major EU initiative.

The importance of systemic and contextualised knowledge 

Research supported by the DeSIRA initiative has to contribute to the transition of agriculture and food systems by generating scientific knowledge, supporting innovation, and strengthening capacities. 

Interdisciplinarity and science for development

DeSIRA’s methodology calls for more interdisciplinary research, and the development of systemic approaches to address intricate and interconnected issues. It calls for scientific results, which can be applied to policy-making.


DeSIRA is supporting innovation through a multi-stakeholder approach, which mixes scientific and local knowledge to produce contextualised information and data. Proposed solutions are then created, tested and assessed with contributions from all parties involved. Technical and social dimensions are taken into account. Consequently, both farmers and farmers’ organisations play a crucial role in orientating and assessing research but also in creating, adapting and scaling innovations. 

Collaboration and capacity strengthening

The DeSIRA initiative aims to strengthen the capacities of national research organisations and individuals and to reinforce national, regional, continental and global research organisations and networks to better coordinate agendas. The initiative strives to create synergies to articulate research with public policies. The objective is to foster the Agricultural Innovation Systems and to improve national innovation policies to address the agriculture and food systems transition with climate-relevant solutions.

Projects supported by DeSIRA

These are three of the initiatives supported by DeSIRA.


The BIOSTAR project in West Africa aims to create sustainable bio-energies for small agro-food companies.


The regional project Clima-LoCa covers Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. It contributes to the sustainable development of the cocoa sector.


In Asia, Artemia4Bangladesh is a project introducing circularity through climate-smart aquaculture in Bangladesh.

Find out more about all the other 44 projects supported by DeSIRA here: 


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The Village committee in Niomoune (Casamance)


I have been involved for 2 years as a member of The Educateurs sans Frontières Group (GREF) in the project "Alimentaire Solidaire". This project aims at implementing a cooperative platform relying produceers (fruits, cereals, halieutic, vegetables), food production cooperatives in the rural areas and consumers in big cities.

The cooperative model based on short value chain and active invovement of actors contributing to the value is an alternative to the existing system based on trade and speculation in West Africa.
We are now experimenting this plateform in Casamance (south of Senegal) within the COLAB french programm (multishakeholders approach). ISRA (Senegal national Agronomic Research Institute), IRD (Institut de la Recherche pour le Développement), Casa-ecologie (see : a food production cooperative, Produceers organised in numerous cooperatives.

We are developping and testing a technical platform providing services to produceurs (market and production forecast, agriculture know how, food processing...) and management of supply and demande, storage.

We use SMS, smartphone and Web application so that any actor can participate.

We ambition to dupplicate this system at national and regional level (Burkina, Ivory coast, Togo, Benin, Guinea, Mali, ....).

Would it be possible to participate to Desira ?

Please let me know

Patrick CHEVALIER ++ 33 6 80 84 95 95 (whatsapp number)

Id skype is pchevalierparis

Retired but active Digital economy teacher

Member of GREF
France (Britanny) / Casamance (Ziguinchor)


test comment 8 

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last update
28 October 2021

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