DeSIRA (Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture) is the European Commission initiative dedicated to the adaptation of agricultural practices to climat change, the promotion of agro-ecology and the support of small farmers, which was launched at the first One Planet Summit. DeSIRA aims to accelerate the development of agriculture in developing countries, mainly in Africa, by relying on research results. This original concept between "action research" and innovation deployment is particularly well suited to the rapid transformation of agricultural and food systems in partner countries to make them more resilient to the effects of climate change. Science is mobilized to build, with other actors, solutions of immediate application which impacts are continuously assessed.
Through its projects, Desira contributes to the sustainable and operational transformation and adaptation to climate change of agricultural and food systems in low and middle-income countries.
DeSIRA strengthens and relies on agricultural research organizations in Europe and in the South, as well as on their partnership networks, to promote innovation trajectories that can be initiated immediately and on a large scale.
In Chad, pastoralism and agro-pastoralism allow a reasoned exploitation of the immense natural rangelands in a highly variable and unpredictable environment that represents 44% of agricultural GDP. However, climate change induces changes in the local environment (droughts, floods ...) and therefore, increased competition over resources and increased land pressure, leading to increased conflicts.
The project aims to produce knowledge on adaptations of pastoral and agro-pastoral systems to climate change in order to co-design innovations that guarantee better access to agro-pastoral resources: manufacture of livestock feed using locally available by-products, implementation of fodder crops, improved access to water... It will also lead to the co-development of decision support tools adapted to the local context, to the evolution of natural resources and climate variability to prevent conflicts and encourage concerted resource management, through the Chad Pastoral Platform.
A different kind of innovation
DeSIRA promotes and supports the importance of innovation in the transformation of agricultural and food systems in the South in order to face global challenges (climate, biodiversity, food security).
Promoting new research practices
- Conducting research for development that enhances scientific and local knowledge, strengthening the innovation capacities of a wide range of actors (farmers, farmers' organizations, rural communities, NGOs, private sector firms, public sector organizations)
- Supporting the capacities of Southern researchers, strengthen national scientific organizations to improve the identification of research priorities and the conduct of quality, policy-relevant research
- Combining academic research, participatory research and action research approaches, with laboratory and farmer-based research. Research products include knowledge generation, technology and method development, network strengthening through facilitation, capacity building and expertise.
Each year, from 2018 to 2020, the choice of projects has been made by DG Devco on the basis of proposals formulated by the
delegations of the European Union in the Southern countries, by the EU Member States in collaboration with research actors from European countries.
2018 (contracts signed in 2019):
- Research and Innovation: 20 projects in 20 countries (including 6 multi-country projects): €100M (including co-financing)
- Research Governance: Support to GFAR, TAP/FAO and the CAADP organization: €40M (EU) and €12.5M (IFAD).
2019 (contracts signed at the end of 2020):
- 22 projects, 31 countries, 112M€ (including co-financing)
2020 (contracts to be signed by the end of 2021):
The allocated budget is 65M€ of mixed DeSIRA and GCCA+ origin.
- Proposals DG Devco Delegations: 16 projects, 16 countries;
- Proposals from Member States: (Luxembourg, Belgium, Spain: €1.5M; France €2M; Germany €7M, Ireland €1.1M, Spain €0.4M): 5 projects, 13 countries.