The overall goal of Sustain Sahel is to promote practices which enhance soil quality and yields, build resilience towards climate change, and contribute to food security and better livelihoods. The project's approach is embedded within the themes of agroecology, organic agriculture and elements of conservation agriculture. More specifically, Sustain Sahel aims to:
- develop systematic CSL systems with innovation networks of farmers, value-chain operators, extension services and researchers at various scales to improve agricultural production potential and farmers' income through capacity building
- assess adoption and farm-level sustainability performance of existing intensification strategies
- evaluate socio-economic impacts and scaling potential of the improved practices
- select shrub/tree species, test their systematic integration at farm level and monitor agronomic performance in various farming systems
- quantify the effects of systematic integration on soil biological, chemical and physical functioning, as well as on water availability and soil fertility and productivity
- improve livestock nutrition, productivity and health through facilitating increased availability of shrub and crop diversity and biomass
- model potentials and biophysical impacts of shrub/tree integration across ecological gradients (e.g., aridity) and scenarios of climate change and socio-economic settings
- disseminate project results to end-users, agricultural development agencies and donors, and scale up good practices using farmer-to-farmer training videos in local languages of the region
Sustain Sahel will build on the work of related projects and develop seven pilot farm study sites in 2-3 geo-climatically stratified areas per country, according to the farmers´ diverse socio-economic situations.
Women are shaping West African Sahel and savannah production systems, Sustain Sahel, therefore, pays particular attention to gender in all its activities.
The 5-year intervention will launch a process, based on the existing farmer, market and research structures, and contribute to at least ten specific impacts all contributing to the SDGs. The project is organised in eight work packages.