Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Farmer-led joint research: Experiences of Prolinnova partners

Farmer-led joint research: Experiences of Prolinnova partners

Farmer led joint research
Edited by Chesha Wettasinha and Ann Waters-Bayer
Published by Prolinnova
2010, 97pp, ISBN 1 930 261 26 8 (Pb), free to download
Initiated to enhance local innovation systems in agriculture and natural resource management, Prolinnova has produced a series of booklets that collect the experiences of their partners in many countries. The third in the series, Farmer-led joint research details how farmers, scientists, development agents and other actors are working together to explore and improve local ideas in ways that encourage all of the partners to share their knowledge and experience.
"Despite evidence over decades of small-scale farmers' ability to experiment and innovate, most agricultural scientists continue to do research on behalf of farmers rather than in ways that stimulate and strengthen the capacity of farmers to adapt to changing conditions," the authors state. "In many cases, small-scale farmers do not adopt technologies developed by scientists and disseminated through extension, because the technologies do not meet the farmers' needs or suit their conditions."
From joint-experimentation on ways of growing potatoes in South Africa, to scientific validation of a farmer-developed system for managing poultry in Uganda, to exploration by farmers and scientists of ways to improve a locally developed oven to smoke fish in Niger, Farmer-led joint research clearly and succinctly details nine case studies that describe how Prolinnova partners have put theory into practice.
The booklet concludes by drawing lessons from the nine case studies and analysing what else needs to be done to ensure that farmers are able to take the lead in agricultural research and development.

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