Strengthening Agroecological Innovation Systems. Some experiences from innovation processes led by local actors

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Rios Labrada, H.
Ceballos Müller, J.

In the 90’s first steps were taken in Cuba to strengthen family farming. A participatory seeds breeding, multiplication and diffusion project started, a challenge to Cuban scientists, not used to involve farmers in the decision making process and recognizing them as equal partners. This project further evolved to become the Local Agricultural Innovation Programme, Spanish acronym PIAL (Programa de Innovación Agropecuaria Local). PIAL is recognized today as one of the leading programmes in Cuba facilitating collective action in support of family farming and reaching over 50,000 small farmers nationwide. Inspired by initial successes in Cuba, ICRA staff has been using these experiences to support also innovation processes in Mexico and Bolivia. This profile briefly describes three approaches used to facilitate collaboration and coordinated action at local level: (1) Participatory Landrace Breeding, (2) Participatory Seed Diffusion and (3) Facilitation of collective action of multi-actor groups.

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