Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Global alliance to boost local capacity to innovate in agriculture

Patrick Dugan opens up the Aquatic Agricultural Systems 
session during the Partnership and Stakeholder 
Engagement Meeting in Montpellier
24th and 25th June 2013. Montpellier, France. GIAR scientists, donors and partners met at the CGIAR Consortium headquarters to discuss progress on shared targets, development objectives and pathways of three “systems” CGIAR Research Programs or CRPs (Aquatic Agricultural Systems, Humid Tropics and Drylands Systems ) and Genebanks CRP. This is part of CGIAR’s new way to deliver, in partnership with the many development stakeholders, agricultural research for impact on poor smallholder farmers in developing countries.

Researchers, NGOs, donors and other development partners agreed that the adoption rate of agricultural innovations among poor farmers was often inadequate. Solutions nurtured by scientists are not always adapted to the local needs of farmers. Constraints from within or outside the agriculture sector, such as poor infrastructure or dysfunctional institutions, may also prevent scaling-up.

Development organizations may also be unaware of potentially valuable new technologies or farming practices, or institutional innovations that could improve rural household incomes, food security and nutrition in a sustainable manner.

Ann Waters-Bayer, representing Prolinnova, a network facilitating farmer-led innovations, highlighted that dissemination is not always linear from labs to fields. We need to better recognize the role of farmers themselves in developing agricultural innovations. Ann Waters-Bayer was pleased that the AAS is focusing on how research can maximize local innovation capacity. Approaches like local innovation platforms (e.g. goat innovation platform in Mozambique) gathering researchers and development organizations alongside farmers and value chain actors, could facilitate technology uptake.

The question of how to evaluate the research impact on local innovation capacity-building was of great interest among the participants. Wageningen University’s experience in this field was highlighted byKwesi Atta-Krah, director of the CGIAR Research Program for the Humid Tropics.

More information:
See CGIAR Research Program Engagement with Donors and External Stakeholders for more resources relating to the setting of targets and gauging impacts across the CGIAR Research Program portfolio.

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