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.

In the 39-page report Collaboration between farmer innovators and formal scientists in Participatory Innovation Development (PID), completed in January 2020, each of the five Country Platforms (CPs) involved in on-the-ground activities in the Proli-FaNS (Promoting local innovation in Food and Nutrition Security) project funded through Misereor/KZE (Germany) selected one or two cases of interaction between farmer innovators and formal scientists in PID as sources of learning.

The Prolinnova partners describe and analyse their experiences in facilitating farmer-led joint research on: i) a locally developed pesticide in Burkina Faso; ii) reducing bitterness in locally processed chocolate in Cameroon; iii) controlling the fall armyworm in Ethiopia; iv) improving a traditional dish in Ghana; and v) hanging gardens for land-scarce households and an organic fruit-fly trap in Kenya. In most cases, these PID cases were based on innovations developed by women or to which women had contributed strongly – as individuals, in a women’s group or as wife in a couple working together.

These cases of PID are not necessarily “exemplary” in the sense of showing how “perfect” PID is done. Rather, these are cases from which the CPs have drawn important lessons for improving how they go further in promoting farmer-led joint research – particularly in the SULCI-FaNS (Scaling Up Capacity to Innovate for Food and Nutrition Security) project, likewise funded by Misereor/KZE, which started in late 2019. This document is shared with others within the network and beyond, who can be inspired to try to do something similar or better by adapting the approach, based on the lessons learnt. In this way, the network’s activities can have a wider and more positive impact.

Thus far, the publication is available only in English.

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