Adaptation, characterization, assessment by farmers and transfer of the beneficial autochthonous microorganisms (BAMs) technology with a view to making family farms more independent and environmentally friendly - ACEPT-MAB
Market garden crops are mostly grown on family farms and supply local and national markets with fresh, perishable goods. However, their high added value and susceptibility to pests and diseases have pushed growers to use non-sustainable cropping methods reliant on imported chemical inputs, exposing themselves, consumers and the environment to a range of pollutants.
Beneficial autochthonous microorganisms (BAMs) rely on the principle of multiplying autochthonous microorganisms collected locally in zones of little or no human impact, with a view to reintroducing that beneficial functional biodiversity in so-called "biologically depressed" agricultural plots. BAMs are a robust technology with many uses that has already been tested in Latin America and Southeast Asia but is little known in France and sub-Saharan Africa. This innovation has great potential to support the agroecological transition, by making producers less reliant on inputs, their practices more environmentally friendly and their products healthier. BAMs connect local ecosystems and farming systems, with a view to ensuring eco-friendly production, to benefit both the environment and consumers.
The ACEPT-MAB project aims to adapt, characterize and assess on smallholdings the agronomic efficacy of BAMs produced using local resources in three ecologically contrasting countries (France, Senegal and Burkina Faso).
While very different, all three countries have a strong need to provide their farmers with suitable, robust agroecological techniques capable of improving their practices and products, while remaining cost effective.
The project hinges on three pillars:
- characterization of BAMs under local conditions
- agronomic assessments on smallholdings
- sharing of methodologies, protocols and results between the three sites via videoconferences and seminars.
- Analytical and experimental approaches will have been shared between the different project sites.
- A new network of partners will have been founded, through an action research approach involving researchers, gardeners, farmer agronomists, citizens and consumers.
- Use of BAMs, assessed as agroecological practices on two crops (lettuce and tomato), will have boosted agricultural productivity and postharvest storage, protect local market garden crops and improved soil quality.
Institut Sénégalais de Recherches Agricoles (ISRA-Senegal), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD-France), Terre et Humanisme (France)