IPTAs promote problem solving
© FAO/Riccardo Gangale
September 2013. Innovation platforms for technology adoption (IPTA) aim to promote problem solving by a wide range of stakeholders, including researchers, farmers, extension workers and NGOs, policymakers, equipment manufacturers, traders and processers. The intention is for the platform to agree on and work towards a common goal that, typically, will lead to greater productivity and income for smallholder farmers. In recent years, the formation of IPTAs, in order to extend new technologies to large numbers of farmers has been widely adopted in agricultural development.
The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), which hosted the recent Africa Agriculture Science Week in Accra, Ghana, has strongly backed the IPTA model. However, concerns have been raised about whether IPTAs are in danger of becoming a formulaic development response that ignores the realities of competition between different stakeholders in a platform, or the varying characteristics of commodities and value chains.