New Subregional Coordinator in West & Central Africa! / Nouveau coordinateur sous-régional en Afrique occidentale et centrale !


Abdel-Karim Ali Mahamane is the new Prolinnova Subregional Coordinator (SRC) for West & Central Africa as of 1 April 2020. His position is paid out of two projects funded through Misereor/KZE (Catholic Central Agency for Development Aid) in Germany: SULCI-FaNS (Scaling Up Local Capacity to Innovate in Food and Nutrition Security) and Proli-GEAFaSa (Promoting local innovation in water management in family farming in the Sahel) He will be coordinating the subregional activities of the Country Platforms (CPs) in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali and Senegal – and possibly of future CPs that form themselves. He is successor to Georges Djohy, who has been SRC since May 2017 and has taken on a new position in research.

Welcome to Prolinnova–South India !


The Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG) has approved the proposal of a multistakeholder group in Kerala State in South India to be recognised as a “Country Platform” (CP) within the Prolinnova Community of Practice. In large countries with diverse conditions and/or social groups, a CP can be started at state level. The group in Kerala wants to start as Prolinnova–South India and hopes to expand over time to other parts of India.

PID training for SULCI-FaNS anglophone partners

A key activity in the “Scaling Up Local Capacity to Innovate for Food and Nutrition Security” (SULCI-FaNS) project’s calendar for 2020 was a training in Participatory Innovation Development (PID) for partners from francophone and anglophone countries, namely Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana and Kenya. This project is a follow-on to the “Promoting local innovation for Food and Nutrition Security” (Proli-FaNS) project that was implemented in the period 2016–19 in these countries.

Joint learning through documentation of farmer–scientist collaboration

An important role of the Prolinnova network is facilitation of joint learning through analysis and documentation of the experiences made, thereby identifying good practice but also recognising weaknesses and room for improvement.

GFAR workshop on supporting co-innovation in family farming / Atelier du GFAR sur l'appui à la co-innovation dans l'agriculture familiale

On behalf of the international Prolinnova network, Do Christophe Ouattara from World Neighbors (WN) Burkina attended a workshop in December 2019 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, organised by the Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR).

This marked the start of a “Collective Action” (CA) bringing together farmer organisations and other stakeholders to develop an inclusive form of research governance that recognises family farmers and rural communities as central agents in agricultural innovation. The Ouagadougou workshop was financed by the McKnight Foundation, which also funds the Prolinnova project “Farmer-led Research Networks” (FaReNe) in Burkina Faso and Mali.

Farewell to Amanuel, founder of Prolinnova–Ethiopia

Amanuel Assefa Ezezu, 1960-2019 (credit: Chesha Wettasinha)

The Prolinnova network mourns the unexpected death of Amanuel Assefa Ezezu in December 2019 in Addis Ababa.

Amanuel played an important role in the Prolinnova network from very early on. While he was working with the NGO AgriService Ethiopia (ASE), he was a driving force behind setting up the Prolinnova multistakeholder platform in his country, which he initially gave the acronym PROFIEET (Promoting Farmer Innovation and Experimentation in Ethiopia), and he was the founding coordinator of the platform. He and his colleagues in PROFIEET hosted our first International Partners Workshop (IPW), which was held in Yirgalem in southern Ethiopia in March 2004.

Nouveau projet sur la gestion de l'eau en agriculture familiale / New project on water management in family farming

Quelques participants à l'atelier de lancement de Proli-GEAFaSa / Some participants in the Proli-GEAFaSa inception workshop (Photo:AgriBio Services)

Inception workshops for two new Prolinnova projects


Participants in the SULCI-FaNS inception workshop in Centre Mampuya, Senegal (Photo: Urban Fraefel)

Two new Prolinnova projects have been approved by the German development-support organisation Misereor / KZE (Katholische Zentralstelle e.V. / Catholic Central Agency for Development Aid) - namely, SULCI-FaNs (Scaling Up Local Capacity to Innovate for Food and Nutrition Security) in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana and Kenya; and Proli-GEAFaSa  (Promouvoir l'innovation locale dans la Gestion de l'Eau en Agriculture Familiale au Sahel / Promoting local innovation in water management in family farming in the Sahel) in Burkina Faso and Senegal.

New Prolinnova Country Platform in Zimbabwe!

In November 2019, the Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG) approved the application of a multistakeholder group in Zimbabwe to be recognised as a Country Platform (CP) in the Prolinnova Community of Practice.

The group includes people from the network PELUM (Participatory Ecological Land Use Management) Zimbabwe, the NGO Cluster Agriculture Development Services (CADS), the NGO The Phiri Award (named after the renowned farmer innovator in water harvesting and ecological farming, Zephaniah Phiri), the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF) and the Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS) at the University of Zimbabwe. The host organisation of the CP is PELUM–Zimbabwe; the coordinator is Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson (pelumzim@gmail.com).

Prolinnova at SKI agroecology workshop in Zambia

Prolinnova was invited to join a workshop held by SKI (Seed & Knowledge Initiative) in Lusaka, Zambia, in August 2019 on “Advancing the practice of agroecology in Southern Africa”. The workshop aimed to increase understanding of agroecology and decide where SKI should focus to increase its impact in the region. SKI is a regional initiative that works with partner organisations to support and enhance community-based seed systems and agroecology as strategies to achieve food sovereignty and mitigate the climate crisis.

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