New technologies coming from both international and national agricultural research institutions are often a poor match for smallholder farmers’ priorities. Moreover, many of the “top” technologies developed by these research institutions cannot be widely spread because smallholders cannot access and/or afford them. Putting smallholder farmers in the centre of agricultural research would help to overcome these and other challenges in agricultural research and development throughout Africa. This was a key message of a workshop on farmer-led approaches in agricultural research, which was held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on 12–14 May 2015. This seminar was held just ahead of a 2-day West Africa Farmers Innovation Fair (French acronym: FIPAO) to share farmer-led approaches in agricultural research in order to learn from each other, to network and to draw up policy recommendations.
This sharing of experiences at the workshop led to two major insights:
- Farmer-led approaches confirm the great ability of farmers to play a crucial role in agricultural research;
- The results of these farmer-led research processes are much more likely to match with the interest and ability of a large number of smallholder farmers to take up the results and adapt them to their own conditions.
Please find the report (in French with executive summary in English) here: Rapport général de l’atelier