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Feed In Smallholder Systems

02 December 2010

GENERAL - On 18 and 19 November 2010, the Fodder Adoption Project organized a mini-symposium on feed in smallholder systems as part of the week-long discussions.

On the second day of the symposium, discussions focused on innovation systems principles and their application in livestock and feed research for development. The aim was to examine if such approaches are ‘the’ way forward, what are some constraints in implementing them, are they sustainable? and what are the next steps in this area?

Shirley Tarawali introduced three ‘defining principles’ of an innovation system approach, that it:

  • integrates the perspectives, knowledge and actions of different stakeholders around a common theme.

  • integrates the learning by stakeholders from working together.

  • integrates analysis, action and change across: environmental, social, economic “dimensions” of development; and different levels of spatial, economic and social organisation.

She also highlighted some associated issues: that there is no ‘fixed’ approach, that the transaction costs (in time especially …) can be high, the difficulties encountered in identifying measurable results and impact (using the usual approaches), that success requires unusual capacities (of a standard research organisation), there are questions of sustainability (who keeps such initiatives going?), and that it is not a panacea for all locations and situations.

She concluded emphasising that this is a promising way to mesh research technologies and innovation and a tool “for real R4D projects.”

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