Agroecology and Safe food System Transitions in South-East Asia


French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD)



Julien Demenois
Florent Tivet
Pascal Lienhard
Dr Saruth (CASIC)
Dr Vang (Ministère Agriculture)




  • DURATION: 5 years, 2020 - 2025

  • LOCATION: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam

  • BUDGET:  15 million €

  • DONORS: French Development Agency (AFD), European Union (EU) and French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM)

  • COORDINATORS: Professionals for Fair Development (GRET) and Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD)

The overall objective of the Agroecological and Safe food System Transitions (ASSET) project is to make food and agricultural systems in the region more sustainable, safer and inclusive, through harnessing the potential of Agroecology to transform them.It is implemented by GRET as the general coordinator, in a strong articulation with CIRAD in charge of the scientific coordination, in partnership with a consortium of 23 International/European/National Institutions and Organizations and 2 United Nations Agencies.

ASSET will develop and promote a shared vision of Agroecology and Safe Food System Transitions through a comprehensive approach that includes research, networking, policy advocacy, capacity development, awareness raising and communication using Agroecology Learning Alliance in Southeast (ALiSEA) network. The consortium will engage with governments, civil society, private sector and smallholder farmers to generate and transform knowledge into sustainable innovation processes and transformative policies, sensitive to youth and gender equality.

By fostering technical, organizational and institutional innovations at territorial level in flagship programs, generating robust evidence on their performances and impacts, bringing successful approaches to scale and by building upon regional reliable initiatives and institutions, ASSET will help support opening a dialogue on linking agricultural and markets transformations in policy frameworks at local, national and regional level.



Agricultural systems in South East Asia are at a crossroads between conventional intensive models and emerging agroecological approaches. The continuous intensification of conventional models which rely heavily on chemical inputs and capital is leading to a simplification of agricultural landscapes,  land degradation and biodiversity depletion, and to increased health risks for farmers and consumers. Moreover, beyond food and nutrition security, food safety is a rising concern, especially in relation to high pesticide residues, and to the contamination of soils and aquifers. Interestingly, agroecological approaches provide an increasing range of agricultural and market innovations towards healthier, environmental and sustainable practices.


With its comprehensive approach, the project will activate a variety of levers of the agroecological and safe food system transitions within three overlapping spheres of influence.



The project will build a common broad-based methodological framework to:

  • co-produce with large multi-stakeholder groups shared visions and plausible nested impact pathways of the ASSET, at flagship, national and regional levels using a Theory of Change (ToC) approach;

  • assess and monitor the performances and impacts of innovations and pathways to the ASSET, and identify enabling conditions;

  • plan and adapt action research activities at Flagship territorial level through learning

The formulation through participatory ToC tools of a federating strategy to reach the shared vision of the ASSET from local to regional levels will help transform the ALiSEA network into an open coalition of farmer organizations, policy makers, value chain operators, and research and development actors connected by a shared vision of ASSET pathways.

Knowledge generation from flagship to regional levels will feed into and be fostered through multi-stakeholder policy dialogue implemented from a local level through the flagship sites, national to ASEAN levels.

Impacts & Outcomes

Behind those impacts and outcomes, there are basically two assumptions, which ASSET’s approach is grounded on:

  • Assumption 1: Strengthening the capacity and increasing the knowledge and ownership of targeted stakeholders enables them to shift towards the agroecological and safe food system transitions
  • Assumption 2: Providing multi-scale evidence of the performance and multidimensional impacts of agroecological practices within safe food systems enables multiple stakeholders to support and implement the shift towards the system transitions

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Further information

You are warmly invited to visit our stands on TERRI4SOL (Ivory Coast) Stand 069 and 4 per 1000 Outre-mer Stand 070

Below are some useful links if you want to know more on us.

A free online MOOC :

A free online MOOC on  Soil and Climate, organized by Agreenium and AgroParisTech, funded by la Fondation Avril.  A 6 weeks training. Register until June 7. Training from May 10 to June 20, 2021. More information on :

Our projects :

Find out our projects on this map :

More information on Cirad and the 4p1000 Initiative :


National Partners: 

  • The General Directorate of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (GDA - Cambodia)
  • Institute of Technology of Cambodia (ITC - Cambodia)
  • The Department of Agricultural Land Management of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (DALAM - Lao PDR)
  • The Department of Policy and Legal Affairs of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (DOPLA - Lao PDR)
  • The National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (NAFRI - Lao PDR)
  • National University of Laos (NUOL - Lao PDR)
  • The Department of Agricultural Research of the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Irrigation (DAR - Myanmar)
  • The Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Irrigation (DOA - Myanmar)
  • Yezin Agriculture University (YAU - Myanmar)
  • Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD - Vietnam)
  • National Institute of Animal Sciences (NIAS - Vietnam)
  • Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS - Vietnam)

European Partners: 

  • National Research Institute for Development (IRD - France)
  • Mediaseeds (France)
  • Stockholm Environment Institute (Sweden)
  • Swisscontact (Switzerland)
  • Uni4Coop (Belgium)
  • University of Bern (CDE - Switzerland)
  • Educational and Scientific Services for the University of Florence (PIN - Italy)
  • University of Hohenheim (Germany)

International Partners

  • Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI)
  • Alliance of Bioversity and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

United Nation Agencies

  • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
  • Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP)

Time for discussion (Video Chat)

During the indicated periods, one of the team members is available for a chat.

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  1. Thank you for sharing with everyone the work you are doing with agriculture in SE Asia. I would like to invite you to visit our Stand 19 - Agripower Australia, to learn about the benefits that silicon fertiliser has for conservation agriculture, soil and plant health, and carbon sequestration. Please leave a message for us if you would like to meet and talk more!

  2. Good evening. I am Dr. Nandini from BAIF Development Research Foundation, India. We are participating in this virtual EU Fair and have shared our work on 'Soil restoration for achieving sustainable livelihoods, climate change adaptation and mitigation' through stand no 37. Please do visit our stand for understanding the work in India. 

    This is also to share with you all that we have planned a sharing event on 25th May between 14.00 to 15.00 IST (+/- 5.5 UTC). The topic of this sharing event is 'Environmentally sound and climate smart program interventions through BAIF Development Research Foundation', India. It will be based on BAIF, India's efforts on ground to build resilience of vulnerable farming communities against climate change effects by introducing on ground, the multisectorial program interventions for resilient farming system.

    So, please participate for enriching knowledge!  See you there!