Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, September 23, 2013

Innovation platforms - the right path to technology adoption?

IPTAs promote problem solving
© FAO/Riccardo Gangale
September 2013. Innovation platforms for technology adoption (IPTA) aim to promote problem solving by a wide range of stakeholders, including researchers, farmers, extension workers and NGOs, policymakers, equipment manufacturers, traders and processers. The intention is for the platform to agree on and work towards a common goal that, typically, will lead to greater productivity and income for smallholder farmers. In recent years, the formation of IPTAs, in order to extend new technologies to large numbers of farmers has been widely adopted in agricultural development.

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), which hosted the recent Africa Agriculture Science Week in Accra, Ghana, has strongly backed the IPTA model. However, concerns have been raised about whether IPTAs are in danger of becoming a formulaic development response that ignores the realities of competition between different stakeholders in a platform, or the varying characteristics of commodities and value chains. 

New Agriculturist gave participants at Africa Agriculture Science Week an opportunity to share their views:

What is the key strength of the IPTA model?
Achieving success
Things to avoid
What role for researchers?
Government input

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