News & Reports Archive

  • Telling the Prolinnova story at Agrinatura Science Days

    Susan Kaaria, FAO Senior Gender Officer and Co-Chair of the Prolinnova Oversight Group, represented Prolinnova at the Agrinatura Science Days “Growing together: family farming and agricultural sciences transforming world food systems” on 5–7 May 2014 in Vienna, Austria. The event was hosted by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in cooperation with Caritas Austria, the Austrian Development Agency, the Commission for Development Research and the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation. In support to the International Year of Family Farming, it brought together researchers and practitioners concerned with smallholder farming and food security in exchange, learning, networking and exploring new research and higher education partnerships. Susan was a speaker in the panel discussion on small-scale family farming and, in a later session, told the story of transformative change brought about by promoting local innovation in the field, using an example of women farmers in Uganda.

  • Prolinnova option for bridging gap between research & farmers

    On 7–8 May 2014, Ann Waters-Bayer of the Prolinnova International Support Team took part in the final workshop on the assessment study of demand for and supply of agricultural innovations for smallholder farming, hosted by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and ICIPE (African Insect Science for Food and Health) in Nairobi, Kenya. Participants included farmer organisations, NGOs, private and public sector, international agricultural research centres, FAO, EU, regional agencies and GIZ representatives. The assessment in southern Africa was made by Brigid Letty, coordinator of Prolinnova–South Africa.

  • Agro-Insight blog on local innovation

    In a lively blog (www.agroinsight.com/blog/?cat=3), Agro-Insight is highlighting stories – sometimes with video films – of innovation by creative farmers in different parts of the world. An example is the work of a farmer in Thailand, who has been successful in developing an extract from bananas plants to control mealybugs in cassava. The mix also increases the vigour of the cuttings. In a pragmatic way, this and many other farmers combine their own knowledge and know-how with anything they find useful from elsewhere. The Thai farmer adds a small bag of effective micro-organisms (EM) to make his mix against mealybugs work faster. Agro-Insight also has its special concoction: it mixes expertise from science, communications and graphic design to support sustainable agriculture by documenting and sharing solutions offered by formal science as well as those developed by farmers.

  • Learning about LISF at European IFSA symposium

    In April 2014 in Berlin, Germany, Prolinnova’s approach in piloting Local Innovation Support Funds (LISFs) was presented at the 11th European IFSA (International Farming Systems Association) symposium on “Farming systems facing global challenges”. The event was hosted by Humboldt University and attracted 280 people from 35 countries, including some from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The presentation “Multi-level joint learning about locally managed innovation funds” (paper and PPT) showed how social learning was stimulated and facilitated at local, district, national and international level in the process of piloting the fund.

  • Enhancing systemic research & development in agriculture

    At the 2014 IFSA (International Farming Systems Association) Symposium in Berlin, Prolinnova joined a contact group for continuing and deepening collaboration between IFSA and the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) on agricultural systems. During a Global Issues session in Berlin, participants re-examined Farming Systems Research (FSR) in the context of reform in the CGIAR system. The CRPs bring together the 15 International Agricultural Research Centres and other research and development partners in partnerships focused on major issues. Three of the CRPs explicitly take a systems perspective.

  • Enhancing & measuring capacity to innovate

    In March 2014, two staff members from the Prolinnova International Secretariat attended a workshop on "Innovation in the System CRPs", organised by the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS). The workshop was hosted by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam and brought together mainly people from the CRPs but also a few people from universities and NGOs who are keen to understand, enhance and measure capacity to innovate as part of “Research in Development” (RinD). An important outcome of this workshop was agreement on what the CRP Intermediate Development Goal (IDO) “Capacity to innovate” entails and how it could be measured.

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