MALMON is a 5-year project funded by the European Community within the “Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture” (DeSIRA) initiative [FOOD/2019/412-700, DeSIRA_GB]”.
The project aims at increasing the productivity and stabilising the inter-annual mangrove swamp rice production, as well as better understanding and improving the drivers and complex dynamics of mangroves’ ecosystem change. The agri-aquaculture-livestock farming system, unique of West Africa, relies on the capacity to mobilise specialised knowledge (for dike and dam construction and maintenance, water management, the control of soil fertility and toxicity, and variety selection) and massive labour at certain periods of the cycle. At present, these rich farmers’ knowledge and skills have been showing numerous gaps in face of new agroecological and socioeconomic conditions.
By including young and elder farmers in the process of co-production of knowledge, the goal also involves helping local actors improve their understanding and knowledge of ongoing changes and the development of innovative solutions to these changes. These innovations will respond to threats emanating from climate change and socioeconomic transformations, political instability and institutional weakness, and will maximise the immediate and long-term impact of national and international investments through the creation of synergies with past and ongoing projects/programmes.
The project will adopt an action-research and participatory-learning approach and will contribute to creating an Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) able to sustainably merge local and scientific knowledges and formal and informal technology diffusion systems through the co-production of knowledge for the development of technologies (e.g., varieties, cultivation and water management techniques), farmers organization into a cross-country network, the design of early warning systems for the behaviour of the rains and the tides and the creation of an integrated plant protection system and rice seeds regional networks.
The purpose of MALMON project is maximizing immediate and long-term impact of public investments through the mobilization and integration of science and local knowledge capable to improve mangrove rice farming system and to support the contribution of mangroves’ products and services to the livelihoods.
To achieve this goal, 3 approaches are adopted:
Interdisciplinarity research through partnership
Merging science with practice, building and engaging an AKIS community in promoting research and influencing policy making.
Agile management and participative governance ensuring the scientific independence of each Work Package, the interdependency of their productions and the capacity building of the consortium regarding the next challenges-opportunities for sustainable development. Emphasis placed on the capacity to source and evaluate increasingly complex data and distinct types of knowledge, and on the promotion of more inclusive policies which take into account and deal with environmental sustainability along with institutional appropriation and diverse targets for adoption.
Action-research and participatory-learning able to sustainably merge local and scientific knowledges and formal and informal technology diffusion systems
The project will draw lessons from past experience with conventional research and development approaches to improving mangrove swamp rice production, farmers’ livelihoods and mangroves’ ecosystem services, revaluing agriculture as a profession and helping to reduce “deagrarianization” and “depeasantization” processes. The AKIS developed through this approach will be resilient to the country’s long-lasting political instability and to national and global economic crisis, having a direct impact on technology development, capacity-building and policy.
Vision and Mission
We believe in a fair and more egalitarian world, in friendship and reciprocity, in gender equality, in food sovereignty and agroecology, in peasant intellectuals and grassroots science, in the participatory development of technologies that do not harm our environment and human and animals health, and in the value of agriculture as a profession and livelihood activity.
Our mission is to help this vision become closer to reality among mangrove swamp rice producers of Guinea-Bissau, to improve their welfare conditions above the threshold of subsistence and to make them able to influence policy decisions and development interventions.