HSRC Annual innovation and development lecture: Interrogating agricultural innovation systems from a small farmer perspective
Join the HSRC Annual innovation and development lecture: Interrogating agricultural innovation systems from a small farmer perspective.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) over 1.3 billion people, or about 40% of the global work force is employed by agriculture. About 90 percent of the world’s 570 million farms are owned and operated by families. Most of these farms are small and are found in the rural areas of the developing world, where 75% of the population is employed in agriculture. But with the increase of the world's population and the advent of climate change, agriculture needs to innovate itself in order to feed everyone.
Lately, agricultural research and development has shifted from an Agricultural Research Systems (ARS) approach, which focuses on adoption and diffusion, to Farming Systems Research (FSR) and Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems approaches, and finally, to an Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) perspective. The meaning of this is that before, the research was planned so that the innovations from researchers would be simply adopted by farmers, while now we know and accept that innovations can come directly from small farmers. The AIS perspective postulates that agricultural innovations emerge from interaction and knowledge flows between research and entrepreneurial organizations in the public and private sectors.
Date & Time: 02 March 2017 - 12:15
Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Venues: Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town or watch online at: https://www.youtube.com/user/aerasmusable/live.
Description: This lecture will explore how small-scale farmers are integrated within an Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) and the extent to which the institutions are conducive for harnessing their innovation capabilities to address varied issues pertaining to agricultural development. The lecture will discuss case studies from China and India to draw out lessons for policy.
The AIS perspective requires and exchange of ideas and knoledge information and a learning exercise from all the parties involved in agricultural innovation, from farmers, to researchers to the private sector. Small-scale farmers run diversified agricultural systems and preserve traditional food products, contributing to the safeguarding of the world’s agro-biodiversity. Small-scale farmer innovation could then complement, and even substitute to some extent, organized agricultural research and development, thereby contributing towards addressing the pressing needs of food security, rural employment, livelihoods and environmental sustainability.