As climate change aggravates the already serious problem of food security in developing countries, the role of new technologies to increase the ability of small farmers to improve their performance becomes all the more important. Researchers that develop technologies for small farmers must ensure not only that their results are relevant, but that they are accessible to those who need them.
The Central Research Team of the DFID Research Into Use project was tasked to systematise general issues around why farmers make use of the results from research and how to encourage them to do this. A recent Review of that project analysed experience of field activities from the project itself to identify specific conditions necessary to support innovation.
No single approach was found that could fast track innovations under all conditions, but valuable insights were found about key conditions and strategies that encourage small poor farmers to access and adopt new farming technologies. This paper tries to summarise some of the lessons.
Thirkell, A.; Wyeth, J. Putting Innovation into Farmer Hands: What Works? (2012) 4 pp.