About Prolinnova

PROmoting Local INNOVAtion in ecologically oriented agriculture and NRM  

VISION:    A world where women and men farmers play decisive roles in agricultural research and development for sustainable livelihoods

Participatory research on locally developed beehive in Amhara Region of Ethiopia

Aba Mengist Demeke, one of the Ethiopian farmers who exhibited his innovation at the Eastern Africa Farmer Innovation Fair in Nairobi in May 2013, was involved in participatory research together with researchers from the Andassa Livestock Research Centre, the NGO AgriService Ethiopia (ASE) and district administration staff in his home area Enebse Sar Midir in Amhara Region.

Prolinnova-CGIAR study on farmer-led research supported by CSOs

Many of the efforts to transform scientific knowledge into sustainable agriculture and natural resource management (NRM) have brought only limited benefits to smallholder farmers, including fishers, livestock-keepers and other resource users. Donors, policymakers and civil-society organisations (CSOs) are urging the formal agricultural research and development (ARD) sector to make its research more directly useful to smallholders. Several ARD institutions are seeking ways to engage more closely with smallholders and supporting organisations in the field in order to conduct research that is more relevant for and accessible to them. These institutions are open to learn from examples of ARD driven and co-managed by smallholders in processes facilitated by CSOs outside of the formal ARD sector, in what could be called “informal” ARD.

Prolinnova congratulates Fetien Abay, winner of AU Science & Technology Award

A long-time member of the Prolinnova network, Fetien Abay, won the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award 2014 for the Eastern African Region in the Earth and Life Sciences category. The award ceremony was on 19 December 2014 at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Fetien was given recognition for her outstanding achievements in science and technology. She is the Director of the Institute of Environment, Gender and Development Studies at Mekelle University in northern Ethiopia and is the scientific coordinator of various community-based projects.

POSTPONED TO 2015: West African Workshop on Farmer-Led Research & West Africa Farmer Innovation Fair

***These events are postponed to 2015 due to the risks of ebola. More information to follow soon.*** 

A West African workshop on approaches to farmer-led research and a West Africa Farmer Innovation Fair (FIPAO in French: Foire de l’Innovation Paysanne en l’Afrique de l’Ouest) will be held in Burkina Faso in this year.


International Farmer Innovation Day celebrated 29 Nov 2014 !

The annual International Farmer Innovation Day (IFID), initiated by the Prolinnova international 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 (ARD. Furthermore, it provides a stage to demonstrate how research and extension agents (private and governmental) can interact and support this process through Participatory Innovation Development (PID). Since 2012,Prolinnova Country Platforms (CPs) organise different types of activities as appropriate in their countries. This year, CPs in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, India, Kenya, Mali, Nepal and Philippines plus the Prolinnova International Secretariat in the Netherlands are organising the following activities to celebrate farmers’ innovativeness on 29 November 2014!

First (virtual) meeting of new Prolinnova Oversight Group

The Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG), the governance mechanism of the Prolinnova network, has a new composition after recent elections and held its first (virtual) meeting on 25 November 2014. The POG consists of 9 persons: 4 elected by the Country Platforms (CPs) and 1 by the International Support Team (IST) plus 4 independent persons, nominated and elected by the CPs and IST.

Lessons learnt by JOLISAA & Prolinnova presented to EC & other CGIAR donors

At a day-long workshop in Brussels on 7 Nov 2014, the European Commission Directorate General Development and Cooperation (DEVCO) presented its new approach to research and innovation for sustainable agriculture and food and nutrition security (www.egfar.org/sites/default/files/files/DEVCO%20Research_Innovation.pdf). Among several speakers, Ann Waters-Bayer from the Prolinnova International Secretariat at ETC Foundation presented the lessons learnt in the EU-funded project Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture (www.jolisaa.net) and the continuing work of Prolinnova (www.prolinnova.net) along the same lines.

Recognising farmer innovation: the Phiri Award in Zimbabwe

In October 2014, the first Phiri Awards for Farm and Food Innovators were made to farmers in Zimbabwe. The award is named for Zephaniah Phiri, a renowned water-harvester and ecological farmer in Zvishavane District. In the words of Ian Scoones, who worked with him for several years, his innovations in wetland farming over 50 years earned him first arrest and then national and international recognition. The Phiri Award opens up a new chapter in advancing endogenous innovation in Zimbabwe.

WorldFish: Farmer-led innovation key to lasting change

WorldFish, the host organisation of the CGIAR Research Programme Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS), has made a podcast of an interview with Boru Douthwaite, the scientist who leads the research theme on knowledge sharing, learning and innovation. Here, he talks about farmer-led innovation as key to lasting change: https://soundcloud.com/worldfish/farmer-led-innovation-key-to-lasting-change

For those of you who are interested in reading more about the study on farmer-led research to which he refers, there is a PPT with key lessons and a 4-page paper posted on the Prolinnova website under www.prolinnova.net/content/farmer-led-research-featured-tropentag-prague

Click here for the transcript.

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