Today, agriculture is facing major challenges: global challenges such as climate change and biodiversity loss, combined with local issues such as the aging of the farming population and the difficulty of finding a profitable business model. Agroecology is one of the answers to these challenges. Agroecology applies the principles of ecology to agriculture, and goes further than farming practices by taking into account the sustainability of our food systems. Agroecology today is not tied to a specific set of specifications, which means it can provide a contextualised response to local issues.
This is how the Agroecology-TRANSECT project was built, a European project rooted in the field thanks to collaboration with 11 diverse agroecological initiatives: a grassland system in the Bulgarian mountains, a fruit and vegetable basket system around the city of Ljubljana in Slovenia, two highly diversified experimental microfarms in Guadeloupe, etc. One of these initiatives is based in Wallonia, and brings together farmers, Greenotec and CRA-W to explore technical itineraries for the transition to Soil Conservation Organic Farming (COF, or ABC in French).
The role of the CRA-W in this project is to understand the context of these 11 initiatives, to identify the barriers and levers encountered in their agroecological transition, and their network of players. To this end, discussions are held with key players in each initiative. Despite their different contexts and targets, these initiatives sometimes come up against similar issues, whether agronomic, technical, political, economic or social. Beyond these 11 initiatives, the project seeks to understand the diversity of agroecological initiatives in Europe and the conditions that could favour their development, by allowing any interested initiative to take part in our online survey: https://ee.kobotoolbox.org/x/ENhfu0tw (EN) / https://ee.kobotoolbox.org/x/zYyJKfBr (FR) / https://ee.kobotoolbox.org/x/4AiLQRmT (NL).
The end goal of the Agroecology-TRANSECT project is twofold. Firstly, the project aims to encourage the evolution of local practices, by enabling the 11 participating agroecological initiatives to benefit from a framework of co-creation with the 17 European partners. Secondly, at a time when the 2023-2027 CAP is just being implemented, the project aims to bring these realities to the forefront of European discussions prior to the establishment of the future CAP cycle.