Based on a formal diagnostic survey and subsequent focus group discussions (FGD) with farmers, an improved variety of hybrid Napier was provided to selected Indian farmers as part of a 3-year project aiming at enhancing the livelihoods of poor livestock keepers by improving availability of fodder. The original assumption was that the recipient farmers would demonstrate the improved fodder technology and share the planting material with other farmers. However, in practice an institutional innovation in the form of a fodder market emerged between resource farmers and other small farmers and the landless. Seller farmers, buyer farmers and the milk union anchored the scale-up of Napier because it addressed their interests and needs. The paper discusses the importance of coalitions of actors in generation and application of knowledge towards enhancement of livelihoods and poverty reduction.
Paper presented at Innovation Africa Symposium 20th-23rd November 2006 Kampala,Uganda. Published in Symposium Proceedings, 14 pp.