Integrated Farmer-Research-Extension Systems for R&D Relevant to Small Farmers
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World Ag Info Project Design Team
Solution Scenario Concept: Traditional top-down information delivery methods typically bypass poor women farmers in Africa who require novel approaches to extension if the are to engage successfully with markets and benefit from new technologies for increasing productivity. Often technologies being extended to smallholders are labor intensive and not suited to women farmers because researchers do not understand that technologies which reduce the overall labor burden of women smallholders in Africa and provide them with more control over their labor and farm outputs will have the biggest impact on their well-being.1 This innovation gap needs to be addressed by the integration of farmer-extensionresearch provided by the innovation systems approach to agricultural R&D. Innovation systems give high priority to networking, cross-learning and the exchange of know-how among multiple actors in private and public sectors, including farmers, business enterprises, universities, civil society organizations and state-funded research and extension providers. Effective agricultural innovation systems accompany integrated, participatory farmer-research-extension approaches with learning communities that innovate in response to producers’ demand. This note proposes the creation of an international south-south learning community to exchange and apply this type of innovation systems approach to the development and dissemination of technologies designed to ameliorate women farmers’ drudgery and lack of control over farm produce and income.
WorldAgInfo Project Solution Scenario 2: Agricultural Extension. Based on the deliberations of participant groups in Workshop 1, the WorldAgInfo Design Team drafted a problems and solutions summary document (available within Section Three of the Final Report). This is one of several potential solution scenarios to emerge through that process. These were in turn used to inform proposed information projects generated by Workshop 2 participants in Livingstone, Zambia (available within Section Two of the Final Report).
World Ag Info Project
Information Systems; Agriculture; ICT; Agricultural Development; International Development; Agricultural Education