Worldwide, over 500 million smallholder farmers provide food for two-thirds of the earth’s growing population. Achieving a zero hunger world by 2030 depends on increasing the productivity of these smallholder farmers – but their crops face a significant threat. Yearly, an estimated 40% of crops grown worldwide are lost to pests. If we could reduce crop losses by just 1%, we could potentially feed millions more people. The lack of access to timely, appropriate and actionable extension advice makes it a fundamental challenge for farmers to get the right information at the right time to reduce crop losses.
Pests and diseases often limit how much smallholder famers can produce. They affect crops both pre and post-harvest by reducing their value or making them unsafe for human consumption. Farmers try to reduce losses through a range of techniques, some of which have human or environmental health impacts. This project aims to understand and report on current crop protection practices and identify the most effective, safe and innovative options to integrate into GIZs programmes in 14 countries.
Agricultural production and productivity needs to increase in order to enhance economic growth but environmental impacts and social conflicts need to be taken into account. The concept of sustainable agricultural intensification which takes account of these complexities is needed. The Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) programme is achieving this through commissioned research and facilitating learning at many levels in selected African countries.