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Pamuk H.,University of Tilburg | Bulte E.,University of Tilburg | Bulte E.,Wageningen University | Adekunle A.A.,Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa FARA
Food Policy | Year: 2014

We use experimental data collected in 8 African countries to investigate whether a decentralized approach can promote the adoption of agricultural innovations. This participatory model is based on the creation of so-called 'innovation platforms' where local stakeholders meet and seek to identify problems and prioritize solutions. While we document evidence that the participatory model robustly promotes the adoption of crop management innovations across all research sites, we do not find significant effects for other domains of innovation. We also document considerable heterogeneity in terms of local priorities, and show that not all innovation platforms are equally successful. We present tentative evidence that the performance of these platforms depends on specific dimensions of ex ante social capital. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Adekunle A.A.,Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa FARA | Fatunbi A.O.,Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa FARA
World Applied Sciences Journal | Year: 2013

The Innovation Fund for Agricultural Transformation (IFAT) is a proposed in-country agricultural funding initiative to support the transformation of the agriculture sector in the developing countries in Africa, through the Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) concept. The IAR4D concept fosters the generation of innovations, sustainability of smallholder farmer's livelihood, increase food security, promotion of sustainable natural resource management and rapid reduction in rural poverty by changing the way agricultural research and development activities are conducted. The IAR4D concept has been demonstrated to yield high returns to investment in agricultural research for development by ensuring high adoption of superior technologies leading to increased productivity of farms in combination with sustainable use of natural resources. This is followed by increased income for the farmers and other stakeholders along the value chain which in turn leads to rapid reduction in poverty. The use of the IAR4D concept as a framework for agricultural Research and Development (ARD) activities in the different countries of will, however, require a different financing arrangement from the current scenario in most Africa countries. Capital for an agricultural endeavour will necessarily need to be at a much lower interest rate compare to the current bank rate which ranged from 18% to 32% across the countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Agricultural capitals with lower interest rate will have a direct positive impact on the competitiveness of commodities produced in the Africa counties compared to commodities from other countries in the West and Asia where the interest rate on agricultural capital is in the single digit range. Such loan may not be too profitable for the financial institutions; as such it requires special institutional arrangements for its sourcing and sustainable management. This paper proposes that IFAT should be drawn from alternative sources such as the mandatory social responsibility contribution from large private sector establishments. It could also pool fund from somewhat redundant pension funds available in some countries, from grants from development partners and government fund. The management of the IFAT fund could be handled by a national innovation platform which will carry out the overall governance of the fund through a Steering Committee that will be charged with the responsibility to direct the use and application of the funds through selected commercial banks. This will enable the fund to deliver its objective of developing structures that would ensure sustained access to innovative agribusiness financing by entrepreneurs and farmers to promote and improve agribusiness investment to enhance food security goals, create jobs and reduce poverty. © IDOSI Publications, 2013. Source

Schwilch G.,University of Bern | Bestelmeyer B.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Bunning S.,Viale delle Terme di Caracalla | Critchley W.,VU University Amsterdam | And 9 more authors.
Land Degradation and Development | Year: 2011

Although sustainable land management (SLM) is widely promoted to prevent and mitigate land degradation and desertification, its monitoring and assessment (M&A) has received much less attention. This paper compiles methodological approaches which to date have been little reported in the literature. It draws lessons from these experiences and identifies common elements and future pathways as a basis for a global approach. The paper starts with local level methods where the World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies (WOCAT) framework catalogues SLM case studies. This tool has been included in the local level assessment of Land Degradation Assessment in Drylands (LADA) and in the EU-DESIRE project. Complementary site-based approaches can enhance an ecological process-based understanding of SLM variation. At national and sub-national levels, a joint WOCAT/LADA/DESIRE spatial assessment based on land use systems identifies the status and trends of degradation and SLM, including causes, drivers and impacts on ecosystem services. Expert consultation is combined with scientific evidence and enhanced where necessary with secondary data and indicator databases. At the global level, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) knowledge from the land (KM:Land) initiative uses indicators to demonstrate impacts of SLM investments. Key lessons learnt include the need for a multi-scale approach, making use of common indicators and a variety of information sources, including scientific data and local knowledge through participatory methods. Methodological consistencies allow cross-scale analyses, and findings are analysed and documented for use by decision-makers at various levels. Effective M&A of SLM [e.g. for United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)] requires a comprehensive methodological framework agreed by the major players. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Ansah F.A.,University of Ghana | Fatunbi A.O.,Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa FARA | Adekunle A.A.,Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa FARA | Obeng-Ofori D.,University of Ghana | And 3 more authors.
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Storage of maize is very important for food security, especially in developing countries; like Ghana. However, several abiotic and biotic factors cause considerable losses during its storage. Therefore, the work studied the effectiveness of hermetic triple layer biodegradable bags (HTLBB) and polypropylene interwoven bags (PIB) in reducing losses of stored maize. Experiments were conducted in a small holder farmer storage crib and in a laboratory. A factorial combination of HTLBB, PIB and maize cultivars, improved 'Obatanpa' and local 'Denkye' were used. The samples were stored for six months at an average temperature of 27°C and 58% RH. The moisture content, hidden infestation, weight loss, germination capacity and colour were assessed. A significant increase in the moisture content of both cultivars (12.4-15.4%) was found in HTLBB-stored samples probable due to airtight conditions and the respiratory activities of grains, while in PIB no significant differences were found (12.4-12.9%). Laboratory and field assessment of percentage germination and emergence was higher in 'Obatanpa' than in 'Denkye'. However, HTLBB-stored samples, kept 90% of germination capacity while in PIB-stored, a maximum of 60%. Weight losses were also lower in HTLBB-stored 'Obatanpa' and 'Denkye' at 7.4 and 3.8% than PIB-stored at 15.1 and 9% respectively, attributable to varietal type and hidden infestation. Colour changes were observed in both storage bags which were related to possible increase in carotenoid content during storage. As main conclusion, HTLBB has the potential to protect stored maize better than PIB without any chemical treatment; provided its moisture content is very low. Source

Kefasi N.,P.A. College | Oluwole F.,Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa FARA | Adewale A.,Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa FARA | Gbadebo O.,Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa FARA
African Journal of Agricultural Research | Year: 2011

Agricultural policy formulation in Sub Saharan Africa has been dominated by research initiatives that alienated other farmers and stakeholders. The Sub Saharan Africa Challenge Programme (SSA CP) seeks to use multi-stakeholder partnerships as an institutional innovation for agricultural policy formulation and development. This paper uses some experiences from the SSA CP to discuss the design principles for an effective partnership that can deliver relevant agricultural policies. It argues that consultation, negotiation, having a shared understanding of key relationships and interdependence between partners are important principles in multi stakeholder partners. Government's role should be streamlined to be a participant, provider of a conducive environment for policy formulation and provider of public goods. © 2011 Academic Journals. Source

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