African smallholder farmers continuously seek to improve their agricultural enterprise, to improve their food security and to increase their income by making more efficient use of their assets. Farmers have to adapt to continuous, often unforeseen and sudden, changes in their production and marketing environments, and this requires ongoing innovation. Research Into Use (RIU), a DFID-funded programme, explored different approaches for promoting innovation in agriculture.
This book analyses the experiences of three RIU Africa Country Programmes, which used Innovation Platforms to facilitate innovation, and two Best Bet projects, which used a competitive funding mechanism to support private sector-driven initiatives to get research outcomes into use.
This review studied a selection of projects from the RIU Africa portfolio: the Nyagatare maize platform in Rwanda; the cowpea platform in Kano state, Nigeria; the pork platform in Malawi, the Farm Input Promotions (FIPS) Best Bet in Kenya, and the Armyworm Best Bet in Kenya and Tanzania. For each of the selected projects, assessments were made on how it changed the capacity to innovate, the household level poverty impact, whether the intervention offered value for money, and what were the main lessons learned. The review used a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods, tailored to each of the cases studied.
Gildemacher, P.; Mur, R. Bringing new ideas into practice; experiments with agricultural innovation. Learning from Research into Use in Africa (2). KIT Publishers, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2012) 186 pp. ISBN 978-94-6022-233-7