Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Farmer Participatory Research and Development Twenty years on

FARA participated to an international workshop, ‘Farmer First Revisited', at IDS from 12-14 December 2007 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the original ‘Farmer First' event. The conference is hosted by the Future Agricultures Consortium in association with the STEPS Centre at Sussex.

The workshop was organised around three inter-related themes:
1. Agricultural innovation systems – putting farmers first?
2. Organising agricultural research and development for the 21st century
3. Methodological innovation, personal and organisational change

Expected Outputs and Outcomes: Towards a ‘Pro-Poor Innovation Alliance’.

The full workshop outputs, including presentations, papers and proceedings, will be posted on a dedicated web page for the event. In addition, a book will follow in 2008, offering (highly edited) highlights of papers and plenary discussions.

In bringing together a diverse range of participants the aim of this ‘Farmer First Revisited’ event will not only be to spark critical reflection and debate, but also to build a community of practice around the challenges of pro-poor science and technology for agricultural research and development.

Such a network – which we have provisionally labelled the ‘Pro-Poor Innovation Alliance’ – can potentially develop as an important player in emerging global initiatives in the field of agricultural research and development, whether in the context of the follow up to the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), the implementation of the science and technology strategies of the African Union’s NEPAD CAADP agenda or the Gates/Rockefeller Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

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