Smallholder farmers are often excluded from the current system of knowledge exchange, leading to missing or inadequate contributions of local knowledge in many global research and development projects. Dr Bin Wu, in collaboration with the Future Food Beacon, Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (HGI) and the African Diaspora Academic Network – UK (ADAN-UK), put together an international workshop for communication, interaction and cooperation between grassroots innovators and researchers/professionals/change agents, with the vision of starting to address this knowledge gap.
The event was attended by more than 50 people from a wide range of backgrounds, including international participation of eight invited speakers from five countries (China, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe).
The main objectives of the workshop were to address two questions:
- What are the innovation challenges and opportunities for smallholder farmers?
- How can a global university like UoN work together with multiple stakeholders to support local innovation and entrepreneurship to empower smallholder farmers?
The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government in late 2015 to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. Alongside the other GCRF delivery partners we are creating complementary programmes that:
promote challenge-led disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, including the participation of researchers who may not previously have considered the applicability of their work to development issues
strengthen capacity for research, innovation and knowledge exchange in the UK and developing countries through partnership with excellent UK research and researchers
provide an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research need.
GCRF forms part of the UK’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment, which is monitored by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).