Prolinnova was invited to share its experiences at the 22nd European Seminar on Extension and Education which took place from 28 April to 1 May 2015 in Wageningen, the Netherlands.
The West African workshop on approaches to farmer-led research (12-14 May) and the West African Farmer Innovation Fair (15-16 May) took place in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The first output of the collaboration between Prolinnova and the CGIAR Research Programs on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) has been published:
In early December 2014, the CGIAR research program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) convened researchers and development partners for a 3-day dialogue in Rome to explore how the impact of AAS research could be scaled out horizontally and scaled up through institutions and policies. Prolinnova experiences were well mirrored through participation in the dialogue by the former co-chair of the Prolinnova Oversight Group, Susan Kaaria, and by a member of the Prolinnova International Support Team, Ann Waters-Bayer.
Prolinnova is collaborating with the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) and Climate Change, Agriculture & Food Security (CCAFS) in seeking to understand how farmer-led research approaches improve smallholder farmers' livelihoods and local capacity to innovate.
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.
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.
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.
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.