Fair and workshop recognises farmer innovation in eastern Africa

The EU-funded project JOint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture (JOLISAA); Prolinnova; the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and the AusAID-funded project Food System Innovation for Food Security held an international workshop on Agricultural Innovation Systems in Africa (AISA) in the last week of May 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. Experiences from various institutions and initiatives were shared to gain a better understanding of multi-stakeholder innovation processes in agriculture, with a focus on recognising the role of smallholders – both men and women – in innovation. The workshop helped develop messages for research, practice and policy about strengthening innovation processes in smallholder agriculture.

To set the scene for the international workshop and to put smallholders front and centre from the very outset, the workshop was preceded by an Eastern Africa Farmer Innovation Fair (EAFIF) to showcase the achievements of smallholders in improving their farming and livelihoods. The international workshop was opened during the final afternoon of the innovation fair. The fair celebrated the creativity of Eastern African smallholders and gave them public recognition. The colourful event called attention to the importance of farmer innovation in agricultural development, brought policymakers and the general public in Kenya in contact with farmer innovators, and provided an opportunity for the international participants in the AISA workshop to meet and engage with the innovators. The fair was hosted by Prolinnova–Kenya and co-organised with the Netherlands-supported AgriProFocus (APF) Agri-Hub Kenya network and other organisations concerned with smallholder agricultural development. It involved about 50 women and men farmer innovators from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

More information on all the events in that week, including impressions of the fair in the form of blogs and photos, can be found on the WAIA wiki.

The proceedings of the AISA workshop can be found here.

The report on the fair can be found here.

Articles, blogs and photos

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