Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Web-based policy tool on small-scale farmer innovation

23 - 25 June, 2015. Geneva, Switzerland. Seminar on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions: The Regional and International Dimensions. The issue of genetic resources or traditional knowledge that are shared among different countries was discussed at a World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) seminar.

Susan Bragdon, the Food and Sustainability Representative of the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO) , was asked to talk about other international legal instruments that relate to genetic resources and intellectual property, in particular to discuss the story behind the treaties; how they came to be, what they say and the challenges presented by the regime complex.

Last year the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)  called on negotiators at the World Intellectual Property Organization to include innovation by small-scale farmers and asked for complementarity of several international instruments dealing with this issue.

In May 2015, Joe Ouko, chair of the Farmer Innovators Association of Kenya, and three other members of the Prolinnova international network took part in a consultation in Geneva, Switzerland, on small-scale farmer innovation in agrobiodiverse systems. They were invited by the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO). 

During two days, the 19 participants from 12 countries explored what drives local innovation, what supports it and what impedes it. QUNO is engaged in policy dialogue at international level and plans to develop an interactive web-based policy tool on small-scale farmer innovation. As a member of the advisory group for the meeting, Ann stayed on for a third day to strategise about follow-up to the consultation.

Through his participation in the consultation meeting as the sole Kenyan and the sole farmer, Joe was reinforced in his conviction that “if we really want sustainable food security, research and small-scale farmers should not work in their own cocoons but need to work together and complement one another”. He was also encouraged to devote even more efforts to promote farmer-led joint innovation together with researchers though the farmer innovators association in Kenya.

Related: May Policy brief (6 Pages) of Prolinnova: Creating a Space for Local Innovation in Agriculture
A project called Strengthening Community Resilience to Change: Combining LocalInnovative Capacity with ScientificResearch (CLIC-SR) has provided an opportunity for a group of research and development players in the country to learn more about farmers’ innovative responses to local changes, more in particular:
1. Homemade bio-pesticides
2. Sub surface drainage
3. Sex of chicken determined by shape of egg
4. Irrigation development —

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