Family Farming Knowledge Platform

Innovation and Family Farming

Innovation in family farming cuts across all dimensions of the production cycle along the entire value chain ­‑ from crop, forestry, fishery or livestock production to the management of inputs and resources; from organizational strengthening to market access. It can also involve planting new crop varieties, combining traditional practices with new scientific knowledge, using sustainable farming and production practices, applying new approaches to animal disease control, post-harvest practices, participating in markets in new and more profitable ways, accessing and creating markets and other networks, generating and strengthening entrepreneurial and management skills, and building capacity for greater participation in policy-making processes.

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FAO believes innovation to be a key driver for achieving a world free of hunger and malnutrition, where family farming plays a crucial role in reducing rural poverty, addressing food insecurity and malnutrition, and promoting a sustainable food system. 

Innovation is a catalyst for agricultural and rural transformation. This concerns technologies and practices as well as the way actors and institutions are organized.

The great challenge of an innovation approach based on the experience of family farming and rural households is undoubtedly how to roll out this knowledge on a larger scale. Innovation generated in the rural environment tends to be localized and therefore restricted by the social, economic and ecological context.

The existence of local knowledge and experience is central to any innovation system that is anchored in and aims to strengthen family farming. The innovation emerging from the rural environment is underpinned by the resource this knowledge represents, and the skills and competencies stemming from this ability to learn. 

The United Nations Decade of Family Farming (UNDFF) places special emphasis on innovation, knowledge-sharing, training and access to technology and/or technology transfer as the basis for developing strong measures and strategies to effectively support the achievement of specific pillars/outcomes involved in several integrated SDG sets.  

The aim of the UNDFF is to encourage innovation for and with family farmers, to bring together the innovations and traditional knowledge of family farmers and to reshape our food systems. In this regard, the Global Action plan of the UNDFF focuses specifically on:

  • encouraging social innovations that contribute to territorial development and food systems that protect biodiversity, the environment and culture.
  • the creation of an innovation system that links various factors (public sector, academia, private sector, civil society and farmers and their organizations) and that builds the capacity of farmers and provides them with incentives to innovate.
  • the implementation of inclusive research systems, involving advisory services, producer organizations and cooperatives, and multi-stakeholder platforms to foster the process of innovation creation/adaptation and improve the flow of information and communication between researchers, extension workers and farmers.


International Society for Participatory Mapping (ISPM)

The Society’s objectives are to encourage and support the development, experimentation, evaluation, and application of participatory mapping methods globally in order to foster interaction and research in this scientific field, and to coordinate with other organizations in the study of participatory processes, mapping, and quantitative analyses. The Society places a...
nd - International Society for Participatory Mapping (ISPM)



Research center
La Corporación colombiana de investigación agropecuaria – AGROSAVIA, es una entidad de carácter científico y técnico, que en alineación con su propósito superior “Transformamos de manera sostenible el sector agropecuario colombiano con el poder del conocimiento para mejorar la vida de productores y consumidores”, trabaja en la generación del conocimiento...