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AGROECOLOGY: A WAY FORWARD FOR THE DRC

SAILD took part in a workshop on the status of agroecology in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from June 13 to 14, 2024, at the Nouvel Immeuble Administratif in Kinshasa.

The Democratic Republic of Congo has its own innovative agro-ecological practices. In addition, it applies certain agroecological practices that are already known around the world. These are just some of the findings of the study on the state of agroecology in the DRC, which were presented at the symposium organized by the Support Service for Local Development Initiatives (SAILD) in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Management of Tropical Forests (CAGDFT). Presenting and enriching the results obtained and examining current agroecological initiatives in the DRC and the Congo Basin were the objectives of this activity, part of the implementation of the project entitled “Scaling up agroecology to strengthen food security and improve food diversity in the Congo Basin”.

The two-day workshop brought together a total of 29 participants from different agro-ecological zones in the DRC and Cameroon. Among them were leaders of civil society organizations, including Rodrigue Kouang, head of the Agroecology program at SAILD and Théophile Gata Dikulukila, Executive Director of CAGDFT; as well as specialists in various fields, including forestry, agriculture, the environment, biodiversity conservation, climate change and food systems.

Congolese agroecology
Presentation of the agroecological process by REPAC's Technical Secretary

An initial working session provided an opportunity to present the results of the studies, based on the one hand on the mapping of agroecological players and practices, and on the other on the legislative and institutional framework for agroecology in the DRC. Professor Carmel Kifukieto, the consultant commissioned to carry out the studies, gave a brief outline of the results obtained. He noted the existence of innovative agroecological practices, essentially Congolese, including the use of ecological pots (made from plantain and pseuodostem leaves) for community nurseries, and the spreading of volcanic lava and Nkanzi rock powder.

According to these results, the DR Congo is also applying agroecological practices already known worldwide, such as composting, the use of biochar, the use of green fertilizers, conservation and regeneration agriculture, improved fallow, crop rotation, biological pest control (biopesticides), mulching and so on.
In addition, current initiatives to promote agroecology in the DRC and the Congo Basin were reviewed, in particular those of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA) and the African Union’s Organic and Ecological Agriculture Initiative.

Promoting agroecological practices through wider dissemination and awareness-raising; building the capacities of players who promote agroecology through training programs; and lobbying for more funding and policy changes in favor of agroecology are just some of the proposals adopted at the end of these days of exchange to ensure that agroecology is better adopted and implemented in the DRC.

machesharon1@gmail.com

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