Important impulses have already been given, such as the projects focusing on the development of Green Innovation Centres, which are now being extended step by step to centres for the establishment of a knowledge-intensive rural economy, or the projects on soil rehabilitation and the conservation of soil fertility (see Box).

The Global Programme Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security started in 2014 with the aim to support six partner countries in Africa and Asia in their efforts to conserve and restore soils. Technical approaches adapted to the local environment and livelihoods of rural populations are promoted through trainings of smallholder farmers and agricultural service providers. The Programme also assists in creating conducive policy frameworks that provide incentive mechanisms for sustainable land use. A variety of farming systems with integrated nutrient cycles allow for a substantial reduction of external inputs. In Benin, crop rotation with nitrogen-fixing legumes and the construction of rock berms have significantly improved productivity and reduced erosion by wind and water.