Agricultural innovation in sub-Saharan Africa: experiences from multiple-stakeholder approaches.
Adekunle AA, Ellis-Jones J, Ajibefun I, Nyikal RA, Bangali S, Fatunbi O and Ange A.
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Accra, Ghana
ISBN 978-9988-8373-2- 0 (print)
ISBN 978-9988-8373-2- 4 (pdf)
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) has promoted the integrated agriculture research for development (IAR4D) approach based on an innovation
systems framework. This brings together multiple actors along a commodity value chain to address challenges and identify opportunities to generate innovation. The approach creates a network of stakeholders or partners who are able to consider the technical, economic, social, institutional, and policy constraints in an environment. The network facilitates research and learning that not only generates new knowledge, products or technologies, but also ensures the use of research products.
The IAR4D approach is being tested at three pilot research sites across SSA: in Eastern and Central Africa around Lake Kivu (Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda); Southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe); and West Africa (Niger and Nigeria). This has involved the establishment of 36 stakeholder innovation platforms thus: creating functional linkages between farmers, the private sector, and service organizations; integrating productivity, natural resource management, markets and policy; establishing effective mechanisms for organizing and learning processes for farmers; and ensuring action research oriented toward problem-solving and impact. There are strong indications that IAR4D is an effective concept, applicable across a broad spectrum of agricultural systems.
This review examines the experiences of 21 case studies covering a wide range of African farming systems over broad geographic and historical landscapes. Each case study was reviewed by accessing and analysing existing data sources, published material and grey literature. It also involved important consultation with stakeholders in each country.