SAM Consortium: Guiding the Pursuit for Sustainability by Co-developing a Sustainable Agriculture Matrix

Green gram harvest in Kitui

SAM Consortium: Guiding the Pursuit for Sustainability by Co-developing a Sustainable Agriculture Matrix (SAM-SH-01)

APNI R&D Themes:

Soil Health for Livelihoods

Start date:  Jan 2021

End date: Dec 2022

Project Lead

Implementing Partners

Supported by

Belmont Forum Partners
Austrian Science Fund, Austria
Future Earth, International/Africa
National Research Foundation, South Africa
National Science Foundation, USA
São Paulo Research Foundation, Brazil
Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey

Target Countries

Kenya, Tanzania,

Short Description

The Sustainable Agriculture Matrix (SAM) consortium will be a transdisciplinary and transnational network to guide pathways for sustainable agriculture by co-developing an indicator system and associated products that 1) measure agriculture sustainability from environmental, social, and economic dimensions and improve the accountability of countries’ commitment to sustainable agriculture; 2) engage conversations and possible coordination among stakeholders and countries; 3) identify the inter-linkages among Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to agriculture and improve the understanding of the socioeconomic and ecological dynamics in agricultural systems and beyond; 4) identify strategies for advancing sustainable agriculture and informing policies.

Expanding upon a three-year effort on developing an initial set of global SAM indicators on national scales, this project will establish novel transdisciplinary teams in each of six regions with diverse socioeconomic and environmental profiles. It will cultivate cross-country partnerships to investigate the historical trajectories of agriculture sustainability and to analyze tradeoffs between SAM indicators and SDGs in each region and the globe. The transdisciplinary teams include natural scientists, social scientists, economists, and stakeholders (e.g., civil society organizations and agribusiness), bringing together a wide range of expertise and experiences. A series networking and co-learning activities are designed to maximize interactions and collaborations across the boundaries of disciplines, sectors, and nations.

Outputs of this project include: peer-reviewed articles and policy briefs for country cases; a synthesis report of major trade-offs and synergies among agriculture-related SDGs and among countries; and multiple communication products (e.g., SAM report cards, and an interactive platform).

By co-developing and analyzing quantitative SAM indicators, this project will help guide sustainable agricultural pathways.