The Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP)

Side Event during the 8th STI Forum: Enabling Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) for developing STI roadmaps for SDGs in the context of post COVID-19

Side Event: Enabling Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) for developing STI roadmaps for SDGs in the context of post COVID-19

In occasion of the

8th Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals

Date & Time: 03 May 2023, 8:30 - 9:45 AM (EST, New York time)

Recording of the event: 



Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) play a crucial role in agrifood system transformation. Enabling the Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) by strengthening national agricultural research and extension systems at the national and regional levels can contribute to bring agriculture and food security perspectives into national broader and multi-sectoral STI agenda and roadmap for achieving the SDGs. This is particularly relevant for low- and middle-income countries in the tropics, where the large majority of the population live in rural areas and agriculture has a significant contribution to GDP.

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the socio-economic crisis, affecting different population groups in varying ways. Farmers, small-scale producers, rural women, and youth have been particularly vulnerable due to a lack of employment and income-generating opportunities. AIS actors including agricultural research (public and private), bridging institutions (public extension and advisory services, farmers organizations, private extension agents, community groups etc.,), business enterprises (agricultural value chain actors, agricultural marketing committees, regulated markets, input suppliers, procurement arrangements etc.,) and their enabling environment (government policies and programmes) were at the front line of response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The AIS actors are also central to unlock the potential of innovation at the country level and contribute to the policy processes for much needed agrifood system transformation.

Building an enabling environment and developing capacities for the AIS actors is critical to provide the evidence base and bring agriculture and food security perspectives into the multi-sectoral and broader national STI agenda and road maps for SDGs. However, there are several gaps with AIS including inadequate functional capacities or ‘soft skills’ (e.g. capacity to navigate complex institutional landscape, capacity to collaborate, share knowledge and to engage in strategic and policy process, and the overarching capacity to adapt and respond to realize the potential of innovation) associated with the agricultural innovation. Thus, necessary support to countries is needed for enabling their Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) including capacity development, policy dialogue, integration of relevant tools and methods for prioritization and development of STI roadmaps for SDGs.

In this context, The Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP) Partners, a global, multi-stakeholder facilitation mechanism on capacity development (CD) for Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS), supported by the European Union and coordinated by FAO, have taken on the AIS perspective, and have designed and tested a Common Framework on CD for AIS. This framework includes a range of tools and guidelines to support Member States in their efforts to achieve the SDGs.


General Objective:

This side event aims to spotlight the role of Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS), and its actors (agricultural education, extension, research, business enterprises, and bridging institutions) and their enabling environment to unlock the potential of agricultural innovation and to bring the agriculture and food security perspective into the development of multi-sectoral STI agenda and roadmap for SDGs in the context of Post COVID-19.

Panellists will also highlight their regional and national experience in strengthening the capacity of AIS and how AIS could contribute to more efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems including the value chains to be better prepared to shocks (such as COVID 19, recent food crisis and other crisis to come)?



8:30 – 8:35       Opening remarks by Ismahane Elouafi, Chief Scientist, FAO

8:35  – 8:40      Development smart innovation through research in agriculture (DeSIRA) initiative and it’s contribution to achieve SDGs by Guy Faure, Senior Policy Officer, European Commission

8:40 – 8:45       A common framework for capacity development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) by Selvaraju Ramasamy, Senior Agricultural Officer, Office of Innovation, FAO

8:45 – 9:20      Moderated discussion on regional and national experiences on capacity development of agricultural innovations systems in the context of Post COVID-19 and potential for contribution to the development of STI roadmaps for SDGs – Moderated by Helena Posthumus

-        Ravi Khetarpal, Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI)

-        Phonevilay Sinavong, Planning and Cooperation of the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI)

-        Max Olupot, TAP Chair, African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS)

-        Sarah Tione, Ministry of Agriculture of Malawi

-        Ibrahim Abdulrazak, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)

-        Maria Isabel Paredes, Latin American Network for Rural Extension Services (RELASER)

-        Murat Sartas, European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD)

9:20 – 9:35       Questions and Answers

9:35 – 9:45       Closing remarks by Vincent Martin, Director, Office of Innovation, FAO

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