Kebebe Ergano recently presented a paper reporting work from the Fodder Adoption Project of ILRI titled “Multi-Stakeholder Platforms Strengthening Selection and Use of Fodder Technologies in Ethiopia: Some Lessons.’’ Here he reflects on his experiences at the international meeting he attended in Montpellier.
The Innovation and Sustainable Development in Agriculture and Food symposium (Montpellier, 2010) was organised to reflect on the evolution of innovation systems research, build new perspectives for the scientific agenda and renew actions and policies to better achieve sustainability. It brought together over 500 international experts from more than 65 countries around the globe and some 300 papers were presented. My paper attracted the interest of a large audience (est. 150) and triggered discussions in terms of how our innovation platform was practically designed, executed and monitored. The symposium gave me the chance to have a feel for the progress being made in applying the innovation systems approach around the globe and where ILRI’s work on innovation related research sits in relation to other similar work around the world. My impression is that ILRI is in a strong position as far as implementation of the approach is concerned and I had many useful discussions on this aspect with other conference delegates. ILRI need to work more closely with national partners at a strategic level, such as Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Universities.
The ISDA symposium was followed by Post–ISDA Expert Workshop organized by The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA). This workshop gave me the opportunity to observe the progress being made in applying the innovation systems approach in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and what our research at ILRI can contribute to the building body of knowledge. I benefited a lot from the case study presentations made by ACP researchers on their experiences with the agricultural science, technology and innovation (ASTI) systems over the period 2004–2009. It gave me additional insights on the methodology for innovation capacity diagnosis. The lessons I gained are very relevant to upcoming research activities in new projects such as those funded by the Challenge Programme for Water and Food on rainwater management in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. It also gave me the opportunity to strengthen the link with CTA and a number of ACP scientists. CTA and ACP experts were highly appreciative of what we are doing at ILRI and want to collaborate with us.
In conclusion, the symposium gave the opportunity to observe the progress being made in innovation systems research around the globe, provided additional insights on the methodology for innovation capacity diagnosis and gave me the opportunity to strengthen networks with many scientists.
You can see Kebebe’s presentation here