International Farmer Innovation Day celebrated 29 Nov 2014 !

The annual International Farmer Innovation Day (IFID), initiated by the Prolinnova network, offers a time to celebrate and stimulate the creativity of innovative farmers and to provide sources of inspiration to farmers and other stakeholders in agricultural research and development. It showcases how research and extension agents (private and governmental) can interact and support this process through Participatory Innovation Development (PID). Since 2012, Prolinnova Country Platforms (CPsorganise diverse activities as appropriate in their countries. On 29 November 2014, CPs in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal and the Philippines plus the International Secretariat in the Netherlands organised various activities to celebrate farmers’ innovativeness:

  • Prolinnova–Burkina Faso celebrated IFID at a workshop on soil quality with a group of farmers that work on improving degraded soils. The idea was to bring together different actors in the field of agriculture. It was an interactive event in which local innovations were identified, thus providing an opportunity to celebrate farmers’ innovativeness.
  • Prolinnova–Cameroon celebrated IFID by holding a Farmer Innovation Fair (FIF). One part of the fair consisted of presentations about farmer innovation in ARD. The other part involved farmer innovators presenting their innovations at stands to a broad public. The main objective was to integrate stakeholders into the process of ARD. The FIF stimulated exchange between farmer innovators in the region L’Adamaoua, helped to identify innovations to be exhibited at the West African Farmer Innovation Fair (FIPAO) in Burkina Faso in May 2015 and presented local innovators to the local authorities.
  • Prolinnova-Ethiopia celebrated IFID in Hawassa on 16 December 2014 with a workshop on “The contribution of innovative farmers to enhance soil health”. An innovative farmer who improved composting processes from bioslurry presented his experience. The event brought together formal researchers, farmers and other professionals from the field of agriculture and food security.
  • Prolinnova–India, as in previous years, celebrated IFID in Chinoni and in Uttarakhad on the INHERE campus. It was a big gathering of farmers who are involved in innovation and joint experimentation, government functionaries, research scientists, people’s representatives, and Members of the Parliament and State Legislative Assembly. In the gathering, innovators and experimenters were heard and honoured.
  • Prolinnova–Kenya was part of the national committee organising the International Year for Family Farming launch in November 2014 that was coordinated by INADES Foundation Kenya. During this time, INADES Kenya also organised INADES day in which Prolinnova–Kenya arranged that farmer innovators exhibited their innovations, presented a paper on farmer innovation and displayed posters and other visual materials.
  • Prolinnova–Mali organised a Farmer Innovation Fair. The International Day of Family Farming and IFID were celebrated together on 28 and 29 November at the Palais de la Culture de Bamako by PROFEIS and l’Association des Organisations Professionnelles Paysannes (AOPP).
  • Prolinnova-Mozambique organised a two-day sharing workshop for innovator farmers and other stakeholders in agricultural research and development on 27 and 28 November in the city of Xai-Xai. The event brought together about 25 farmers and development agents from the three Southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane
  • Prolinnova–Nepal celebrated the IFID in 2014, after having to miss the 2013 celebrations on account of political disturbances. Prolinnova–Nepal organised the event at the Regional Agriculture Development Directorate Office in Pokhara. Best innovative farmers/farmer groups were selected for the event. Several Prolinnova partners and other governmental and NGO stakeholders and media attended.
  • International Support Team–Netherlands members organised a morning event with lectures, stories from innovative farmers, and an excursion to Wageningen University experimental farm on 29 November in Wageningen, the “city of life science”. It co-organised this event with Boerengroep (www.boerengroep.nl/), Otherwise (www.st-otherwise.org/) and RUW (Rural Wageningen Foundation) (http://stichtingruw.nl/​). These critical student organisations are part of Wageningen University but play an independent role in arranging events for students in agriculture-related topics.
  • Prolinnova–Philippines celebrated IFID in 2014 for the second year. The International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) in partnership with the local government of Guinayangan, Quezon, honoured farmers who continue to promote sustainable approaches and innovation in their farms and in managing natural resources. On 9 November, an exhibit of these approaches was made to raise awareness and knowledge on these available innovations. There were expositions of rice farmers with low-external-input techniques ranging from green leaf manure to rainwater harvesting. Other farmers presented their innovations in low-cost livestock farming through alternative housing and feeding. Also fishermen shared their good practices in mangrove reforestation. Family Farming was also celebrated !