The Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG) has approved the proposal of a multistakeholder group in Kerala State in South India to be recognised as a “Country Platform” (CP) within the Prolinnova Community of Practice. In large countries with diverse conditions and/or social groups, a CP can be started at state level. The group in Kerala wants to start as Prolinnova–South India and hopes to expand over time to other parts of India.
Prolinnova–South India brings together NGOs, academic institutions, students, the private sector and government ARD institutions. It intends to strengthen the experimentation and innovation capacities of local farmers and local communities and to mainstream farmer innovation processes and results in the formal agricultural research and development system.
The founding members are Marian College Kuttikanum), Lacon India (a private company for certification of organic products), Creativiti Council (a non-profit company providing support systems for local innovators), St Thomas Society, Mission Society Mandya, Karnataka (an NGO specialised in rural development) and Peermade Development Society (PDS).
The platform is hosted by PDS (www.pdspeermade.com), located in Idukki District in Kerala State. PDS has been active for over two decades in promoting farmer innovation by documentation, co-development and co-dissemination. PDS has documented over 1000 innovations in various parts of Kerala, and over 50 innovators were given recognition at national level. It is a partner of the Honeybee Network and the National Innovation Foundation in India. Among many other activities, it operates a grassroots innovation incubation centre (www.pdsinnovation.org). The platform coordinator is T.J. James, who has been an individual member of the Prolinnova network since 2002 and presented the work of PDS at the Innovation Asia–Pacific Symposium co-organised by Prolinnova in May 2009 in Nepal.
We welcome Prolinnova–South India and look forward to continued good collaboration and mutual learning!