The conference organizers have posed the question \"Do new contexts for agriculture and R&D affect the way we should be thinking about farmer participation in agricultural research and development?\" Taking participatory plant breeding as a specific case , this analysis argues that past efforts to drive forward the farmer-first paradigm in agricultural R&D were fundamentally flawed by an over investment in reforming the supply-side of innovation systems in science bureaucracies that lacked - and still lack - accountability for satisfying demand for innovation from the poor. As a result, a hybrid FPR evolved that reasserted the pipeline, technology transfer model of innovation and front line professionals in this process were divorced from other socio-political actors who could drive organizational changes that were more than cosmetic. The essential challenge for the future is to address the political dimensions of demand for farmer-first innovation in the agricultural sector.
Ashby, J.A. Fostering Farmer First Methodological Innovation: Organizational Learning and Change in International Agricultural Research. (2007) 7 pp. [Farmer First Revisited Conference IDS, 12-14 December 2007]