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The poor performance of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa is known to be largely due to the lack of effective and client- responsive agricultural research and development that could generate appropriate technologies and innovations to stimulate the agricultural development process. As a contribution to address this challenge, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), with support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), developed a project for Strengthening Capacity for Agricultural Research and Development in Africa (SCARDA).
This brief explains the concept of gender equality in advisory services and discusses the opportunities that gender equality in rural advisory services can create for global and local food production, women’s economic empowerment, household food security, and nutrition. It summarises experiences of how gender equality can be pursued in advisory services and provides some practical examples.
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) partnered with the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) in 2011 to conduct a series of policy dialogues on the prioritization of demand-driven agricultural research for development in South Asia. Dialogues were conducted with a wide range of stakeholders in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal in mid-2012 and this report captures feedback from those dialogues.
This paper explores the application of the innovation systems framework to the design and construction of national agricultural innovation indicators. Optimally, these indicators could be used to gauge and benchmark national performance in developing more responsive, dynamic, and innovative agricultural sectors in developing countries.
Agriculture and food supply face a repositioning in the context of challenges associated with the Millennium Development Goals. From a development perspective it is of central importance to identify the role that the sector should perform in the fight against poverty and in a world that is increasingly urbanized.
Given the diversity and context-specificity of innovation systems approaches, in March 2007 the World Bank organized a workshop in which about 80 experts (representing donor agencies, development and related agencies, academia, and the World Bank) took stock of recent experiences with innovation systems in agriculture and reconsidered strategies for their future development. This paper summarizes the workshop findings and uses them to develop and discuss key issues in applying the innovation systems concept. The workshop’s recommendations, including next steps for the wider
Seed is the starting point of plant life, and hence the most fundamental input of agriculture. A seed system that assures the availability of the desired quality of seed to the producer at the right time is indispensable for his farming enterprise. In the case of the potato crop, the seed most commonly used is strictly speaking no seed, but a tuber. The constraints and opportunities in seed potato systems in East Africa are of a combined social, economic and technical nature.
Innovation is an important challenge for European agriculture, but little is known about the performance of the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS). This report contributes towards this knowledge, as it reports on experiences from different countries and regions. The systems are very different between countries, regions and sectors.
These proceedings include all the papers presented during the AISA workshop either as oral papers or as posters. It also includes the edited text resulting from the Living Keynote process, an innovation in itself.
The AISA workshop was held on 29-31 May 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya, as part of an international week devoted to Agricultural innovation in Africa. The AISA workshop focused on active social learning among participants, developed a collective "living keynote" about the following issues:
Argentine agriculture has undergone significant transformations over the past three decades. After a long period of stagnant production and productivity, starting in the early 1970s, a number of independent but interconnected events fostered a new technological cycle that induced rapid growth in cereals and oilseeds production. Zero tillage and the introduction of genetically modified soybean varieties were key elements of this change. Argentina reached a leading position across agricultural commodity markets.
This background note for the development of an AIS Investment Sourcebook provides a menu of tools and guidance to invest in agricultural innovation in different contexts. The content is drawn on tested good practice examples and innovative approaches with emphasis on lessons learned, benefits and impacts, implementation issues, and replicability
The paper aims to identify barriers to the development of Learning and Innovation Networks for sustainable agriculture (LINSA). In such networks, social learning processes take place, and knowledge about sustainable agriculture is co-produced by connecting between the different frames and social worlds of the stakeholders with the help of boundary objects. Studying such processes at the interface between different knowledge spheres of research, policy and practice requires a specific methodology.
This thematic note discusses the role of innovation brokers in bridging communication gaps between various actors of innovation systems. On the basis of recent experience in the Netherlands, it outlines the success of brokers in finding solutions adapted to the needs of farmers and industry, and thus their positive impact on innovation adoption. This section also examines some issues on how brokers function, particularly with regard to balancing interests, funding their activities, and the role of government.
The role of civil society in influencing public opinion towards more democratic and developmental approaches is now well-recognised in diverse fields such as health, education, livelihoods, issues relating to disadvantaged social groups and the environment. Yet, science and technology in India is predominantly seen as the preserve of the state, and more recently the market. In the linear model of innovation, civil society is seen at best as having a role in extension or the delivery of technology produced elsewhere.
The Andhra Pradesh sorghum coalition illustrates the valued added by working in coalition. By combining different perspectives to give rise to new, synthesised ideas, the member organisations worked at a faster pace and achieved their objectives more successfully and sustainably than they could have done if working separately. The methodology of their research was designed collaboratively. As a result, scientists carried out repeat experiments on poultry, at the request of poultry farmers and feed manufacturers, which greatly increased their confidence in the evidence.
Drawing on a systematic review of over 500 documents, this study finds that, although FFS (farm field schools) projects have changed practices and raised yields in pilot projects, they have not been effective when taken to scale. The FFS approach requires a degree of facilitation and skilled facilitators, which are difficult to sustain beyond the life of the pilot programmes. FFS typically promotes better use of pesticides, which requires hands-on experience to encourage adoption. As a result, diffusion is unlikely and has rarely occurred in practice.
The increasing complexity of technology development and adoption is rapidly changing the effectiveness of scientific and technological policies. Complex technologies are developed and disseminated by networks of agents. The impact of these networks depends on the assets they command, their learning routines, the socio-economic environment in which they operate and their history.
This chapter documents the learning process within the framework of innovation of soil fertility management practices that emerged from the implementation of Participatory Extension Approach (PEA) as part of service delivery reorientation within the Limpopo Department of Agriculture in South Africa.The chapter gives a narrative description of what transpired during the interaction between researchers, extension officers and farmers, the processes involved, the lessons and the conclusion.
There is renewed attention on the importance of advisory services and extension in rural development processes. This paper, based on the publication ‘Mobilizing the potential of rural and agricultural extension', focuses on five opportunities to mobilise the potential of extension and advisory services. The five areas are: (1) focusing on best-fit approaches; (2) embracing pluralism; (3) using participatory approaches; (4) developing capacity; and (5) ensuring long-term institutional support.
The Worldwide Extension Study provides empirical data on the human and financial resources of agricultural extension and advisory systems worldwide, as well as other important information on: the primary extension service providers in each country (e.g.: public, private and/or non-governmental); which types and groups of farmers are the primary target groups (e.g.: large, medium, and/or small-scale farmers, including rural women) for each extension organization; how each organization’s resources are allocated to key extension and advisory service functions; each organization’s information a