SASUF workshop 16 May: Will Southern Africa adapt AgriBiologicals? Nordic and African perspectives.


SASUF workshop 16 May 14:00-16:00 CEST/SAST: Will Southern Africa adapt AgriBiologicals? Nordic and African perspectives. Sign up below!

The challenge of feeding a growing population on increasingly limited and sometimes degraded land in climate-resilient and sustainable ways has put agriculture practices at the focal point of attention. It calls for a rethinking of agriculture and food systems. Sustainable agriculture combines increased agricultural production and economic development, while promoting environmental protection and more equitable sharing of social benefits. Its achievement requires the development of new ideas, practices and tools.

The use of agricultural biologicals is steadily increasing, and the global market of biologicals is currently doubled about every 4th year. However, the market share in Africa is, in comparison, minute. In this workshop, Nordic and South African representatives will present how they view the emerging area of Agricultural Biologicals, and how they use it. A part of the workshop will be dedicate to a panel discussion where we open up for questions from the audience.

Agricultural biologicals are nature-based products that can increase yield, improve plant health, manage crop pests and pathogens. As such, they offer alternatives to conventional agrochemicals, which can have a negative impact on the environment and also on biodiversity. Biologicals can act as biopesticides, biocontrol agents, biostimulants, resistance inducers or biofertilizers. If correctly used, they can increase resilience by providing a more sustainable and resilient agricultural systems. For future development of a sustainable agriculture, it is vital to thoroughly test the efficiency of biologicals and build capacity to systematically study these.

There are many drivers of a shift from agrochemicals to agribiologicals. For example, the European Green Deal aims to reduce the use and risk of chemical pesticides, as well as the use of more hazardous pesticides, by 50% by 2030. This will also affect the export markets in southern Africa.

There has been limited information on the precise status of biologicals in sub-Saharan Africa. As part of an AgriFoSe2030 project, we therefore recently performed a Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP) analysis of stakeholders active in the agriculture sector in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Africa regarding agricultural biologicals. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected over 18 months from policy makers, regulators, researchers, agricultural-based investors, agro-dealers, farmers’ organizations, extension service providers, and smallholder farmers. In this workshop, we will first present the findings from our KAP analysis and contrast these to the status of biologicals in Sweden and Europe in general. We will discuss pitfalls and possibilities for biologicals both from a Swedish and South African view point to identify common and different needs.

Program (Physical venue: Plantan, Agricum, SLU Alnarp)
14:00-14:05: Welcome, Erik Alexandersson (SLU)/Lerato Matsaunyane (ARC)/Quenton Kritzinger (University of Pretoria)
14:05-14:20: “Knowledge, Attitude and Practice survey of AgriBiologicals in sub-Saharan Africa”, Quenton Kritzinger (University of Pretoria)
14:20-14:35: Martin Gejl from AgroLab Denmark
14:35-14:50: Deidre Ondendaal from AECI, South Africa
14:50-15:05: ”Biological control at SkogForsk – the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden”, Elina Kalmi and Urska Klepec (Skogforsk)
15:05-15:45 Panel discussion led by Lerato Matsaunyane (ARC); speakers and Wilma Mcpherson (SABO)

Keywords: agriculture, biologicals, climate change, plant health, food security
This is SASUF event is given as a part of the Fascination of Plants Day 2024!

Will Southern Africa adapt AgriBiologicals? Nordic and African perspectives.