ASARECA Strategy for Scaling Up Agricultural Technologies and Innovations: 2014–2018

ASARECA strategy for for going to scale

The strategy has five key result areas (KRAs) namely:

KRA 1: Access to knowledge and information facilitated. This is about the processes and practices concerned with acquisition, archiving and sharing of knowledge. It is an integral part of the agricultural knowledge and information hub to be established in the implementation of OP2. 

KRA 2: Emergence of new agribusinesses facilitated. This result area is about research activities that can deliver value chain products and innovations (product development), and nurture the resulting products into fully-fledged agribusinesses. The mechanisms include agribusiness incubation by which a product or innovation from a research process is assessed for suitability and adapted for commercialisation. 

KRA 3: Partnerships with scaling up service providing institutions enhanced. This output recognises that dissemination of information and scaling up of technologies are complex and in some cases specialised processes which ASARECA cannot undertake alone. Potential partners include: non-governmental organisations (NGOs); actors in commodity agribusiness value chains; seed value chain actors; and the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS). 

KRA 4: Capacity for enabling environment and skills for scaling up enhanced. This result area deals with improving capacity of NARS, particularly the less resourced ones, for technology adoption and scaling up. It includes development of methods and approaches for scaling up and using them to enhance capacity of NARS in scaling up. 

KRA 5: Efficient market linkages between farmers and agribusinesses fostered. The focus here is to use innovative technologies including information and communication technology (ICT) tools and methods to provide producers, especially small-scale farmers with real-time market information and to link them to markets. The strategy borrows experiences from India, which show that provision of market information can greatly assist such farmers to choose what commodities to produce, what production technologies to apply, when to produce, and indeed for whom to produce. In other words, for smallholder farmers to change their situation and improve their livelihoods, provision of market information to them will be key to their transformation. 

Scaling up Dissemination and Adoption of Agricultural Technologies using Innovation Platforms—Lessons from Eastern and Central Africa

Scaling up Dissemination and Adoption of Agricultural Technologies using Innovation Platforms—Lessons from Eastern and Central Africa

Between 2008 and 2013 ASARECA coordinated and provided leadership in implementing a project called “Dissemination of New Agricultural Technologies in Africa” (DONATA) across 6 countries in eastern and central Africa. The approach in DONATA was the innovation platform for technology adoption (IPTA). At the start of the project, there were limited documented practical experiences and lessons from which to draw guidance for the implementing teams comprised of national agricultural research systems (NARS). Therefore, an inherent objective in the project was to document achievements, experiences and lessons learned on how the IPTA approach was used to disseminate technologies on orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) and quality protein maize (QPM). 

The DONATA experiences, the synthesis of lessons and guiding principles presented in this book are therefore a contribution to the growing body of knowledge on the application of innovation platforms and value chain framework in agricultural research for development in the region. The information shows how the DONATA project teams used the AIS theoretical concepts to establish and manage innovation platforms to disseminate and scale out OFSP and QPM technologies. ASARECA envisages that stakeholders within the region will find the book useful in their efforts to increase the spread and impact of science and technology in smallholder agriculture.

Best-bet technologies for addressing climate change and variability in Eastern and Central Africa

Kimenye L, ed. 2014. This publication contains of information on technologies and innovation for addressing climate change and variability in Eastern and Central Africa. They were compiled from national agricultural research system (NARS) and International research centers working in the ASARECA region. The information was submitted and discussed at a regional conference on “Climate Change Adaptation Strategies, Capacity Building and Agricultural Innovations to Improve Livelihoods in Eastern and Central Africa Post-Copenhagen (UNFCCC/COP151)” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 7–9 June 2010.

Why the low adoption of agricultural technologies in Eastern and Central Africa?

Agriculture is arguably the most important vehicle for realising economic development, creating employment and reducing poverty in Africa. In the Eastern and Central Africa (ECA) sub-region, agriculture accounts for about 43% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and over 60% of exports. About 70% of the population and nearly 90% of the poor work in agriculture where they depend on increased agricultural productivity to lift them out of poverty.

Best Bet Research Outputs

Kimenye L, Bombom A. 2009. A booklet with 40 abstracts of best-bet research outputs generated by former ASARECA research networks (NPPS) and their NARS partners in the East and Central African region. They represent a collection of well tried and tested technologies and approaches that have potential for up scaling to improve livelihoods. The abstracts, which have been grouped into 9 thematic clusters, give brief accounts of the key outputs generated and lessons learnt.

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