Making agricultural research relevant for development remains a challenge for development planning. The Research Into Use (RIU) programme has attempted to tackle this question and has identified the role of an innovation broker as key in creating a conducive environment to make better use of research, by building up networks of relevant actors. This paper examines the facilitation or brokering efforts of the RIU Malawi country programme in developing the fish farming sector of the country, specifically chambo fish production. Chambo is a major source of animal protein for the rural and urban poor in Malawi, but its production has been declining over the last 20 years. While it is too early to gauge the long-term impact of RIU initiatives in Malawi, this paper shows that the programme did not develop new technologies but facilitated a way of working together between private hatcheries, government departments and research organisations. According to the paper, flexibility in the roles performed by RIU Malawi allowed innovation to take place.
RIU 2011 Discussion Paper 17, 33 pp.