On October 18th, ACRA presented the EWA-BELT - a EU Horizon2020 Project within the framework of the 8th Milan Pact Global Forum on Urban Food Policies (MUFPP), a three-days event on global urban food agenda. This year, the Forum was based in Rio de Janeiro from October 16 to October 19, 2022.
On the second day of the Forum, ACRA’s intervention, carried out by Ilaria Manfredi, focused on ‘Toolkit for communities: map, analyse, and deliver data for climate transition’. Great attention was given to the method of participatory research, experimented in the project and within the Farmer Field Research Units (FFRUs): Burkina Faso, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia. In these countries, FFRUs are co-learning spaces where researchers, technicians, farmers and institutions work together and exchange good practices by experimenting with agronomic techniques and traditional knowledge directly in the field, promoting innovation. The importance of a participatory and multi-actor approach is fundamental to the EWA Belt Project - Linking East and West African farming systems experience into a BELT of sustainable intensification - whose objective is to improve the sustainability and productivity of local agricultural systems in several African countries and to develop agricultural production through research, enhancement, and eco-sustainable improvement of traditional crops. On top of this, the presented method of participatory research will provide guidelines for pilot projects starting within the "Ouagadougou Green Belt", a city signatory to the MUFPP and the capital of Burkina Faso.
The Milan Urban Food Policy Pact (MUFPP), created by the City of Milan during EXPO2015, has been signed by over 200 cities worldwide. ACRA, which has food security and sovereignty as focal points, collaborates with the City of Milan and the MUFPP Secretariat to promote the Pact's principles through activities in Italy and all the countries where it intervenes. ACRA, the MUFPP Secretariat, and the Municipality of Milan, in particular, have carried out a program for the dissemination of the Pact in the African context in recent years, which includes the organization of MUFPP Regional Forums in Africa: the first was in Dakar in 2016, followed by Brazzaville in 2018 (organized by FAO), Niamey in 2019 and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital, in 2021.