A study of farmer-led research, carried out by Prolinnova in partnership with two CGIAR research programmes (CRPs), was presented at the Tropentag Conference on International Research on Food Security, Natural Resource Management & Rural Development, held in September 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. The study examined the documented impacts of CSO-facilitated “informal” agricultural research and development (ARD) in terms of food security, ecological sustainability, economic empowerment, gender relations, local capacity to innovate, and influence on ARD institutions.
From over 100 cases identified through Prolinnova’s various networks and a Web search, 11 cases from Africa, Asia and Latin America were selected for the study. The farmer-led innovation processes built on local knowledge and sought more intensive ways to use local resources with low levels of external inputs. Three of the cases were processes initiated by farmers themselves, five were initiated through interventions by CSOs, and three focused on scaling up the approach to supporting farmer-led research. The presentation (PPT and 4-page paper) draws lessons for future partnerships with formal ARD actors. The study was carried out with the support of the CRP on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS) and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The report is now in press as an AAS Working Paper.