Increasing the engagement of farmers in research

Increasing the engagement of farmers in research

22/05/2014. The April 2014 issue of the CTA and S and T Knowledge for Development (K4D) e-newsletter features:

  1. the new K4D dossier “Research Collaboration in a Globalised World”, 
  2. the impact survey on Africa-EU food security research cooperation and 
  3. extension policy.

The 1st lead article is by EU researchers, T. Chancellor, M. Hauser, and P. Sarfatti. They address research and capacity-building partnerships on joint priorities and emerging agricultural issues and increasing the engagement of farmers in research to achieve greater impact at local level.

PAEPARD seeks to provide evidence to support its advocacy activities, whilst also aiming to influence the orientation and content of various calls for research proposals including the open Calls issued by the Africa Union itself.

To date, PAEPARD has revealed that current funding mechanisms are not adequately oriented towards demand-led ARD, despite the growing body of evidence that it can bring benefits to rural communities. PAEPARD is using the lessons learned to advocate for mainstreaming demand-led ARD in the programmes of national governments and donor agencies.

Many researchers in Europe and elsewhere want to engage in development-oriented research, but have little incentive to participate. Career progression depends on publishing scientific papers in journals with high impact factors. Multi-disciplinary studies are generally rated less highly than research in individual disciplinary areas. There are signs in some European countries that greater value is now being attached for recognizing that research for development impact should be seen as a key measure of research success.

In the 2nd lead article, African researcher, Moses Osiru calls on African governments and financial institutions to work in collaboration with development partners and support targeted programmes and favourable funding mechanisms that allow African institutions to build capacity and negotiate for greater leverage in north-south and south-south research partnerships.

Multi-stakeholder interaction is key to innovation and is now widely accepted in Africa and beyond. It contrasts with the traditional vertical research to the innovation pipeline in which researchers generate new knowledge, and extension actors ‘pass on’ knowledge products to end-users, usually farmers.

Funders (governments and development partners) are drivers of multi-stakeholder partnerships, particularly for fostering alliances with advanced institutions and other actors including the private sector.

Diverse stakeholders (government, producers, agro-industry, the broader scientific community should be actively involved in setting the research agenda. When research is controlled and managed directly by public institutions, many stakeholders tend to be marginalised from these processes.

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