Summary Report

 (January - June 2003)

In Ghana, the participatory process of planning for Prolinnova is being done in three zones within the country: the North, the Centre and the South. In each zone, an experienced NGO is responsible for facilitating the planning process: ACDEP, GOAN and ECASARD, respectively. The latter, with headquarters in Accra, is also the overall coordinator of the Prolinnova planning process in Ghana. A National Steering Committee has been formed to supervise the planning process. It brings the three above-mentioned NGOs together with representatives of the other main stakeholders: the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (for extension), CRIR (for research) and the Root and Tuber Improvement Project supported by IFAD.

Three workshops were organised in the period April–May 2003, one in each zone, to bring together organisations with relevant experiences in participatory approaches to research and development in agriculture and NRM that promote local innovation processes. They shared their experiences, discussed ways to scale up participatory approaches – individually or together – and assessed the relevance of Prolinnova in their context. They also discussed the objectives, programme and proposed participants for a national Prolinnova workshop.

The main conclusions that emerged from the three workshops were:

  • There are indeed a considerable number of experiences with participatory approaches to research and development in agriculture and NRM in Ghana. Not all of these pay particular attention to the innovation capacities of the farmers themselves, and the level of farmer participation varies considerably from one case to the other.
  • The Prolinnova initiative is very relevant for Ghana, as more attention for farmer innovation is required, Prolinnova aims at incorporating support for farmer innovation into research and development, and the initiative is sufficiently open to be adapted to the priorities in Ghana. Participants cautioned, however, that Prolinnova should not become a new fashion but really aim at strengthening existing efforts and addressing weaknesses that are already being experienced.

The national workshop will be held in the second week of September to review the findings from the three zones, to set priorities for Prolinnova in Ghana and to formulate a collaborative programme.