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Learning and innovating together: a partnership between farmers, scientists, public and private organizations

Bhullar, Gurbir S. (2014) Learning and innovating together: a partnership between farmers, scientists, public and private organizations. In: Agrarecology for Food Security and Nutrition. Procceings of the FAO International Symposium, 18-19 September 2014, Rome, Italy. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy, chapter 20, pp. 350-357.

PDF - Published Version - English

Online at: http://www.fao.org/publications/card/en/c/d1f541b5-39b8-4992-b764-7bdfffb5c63f/


Unlike the top-down approach of conventional research, participatory research methods offer a bottomup approach, involving all major stakeholders from the beginning of a research project. Integration of the end users of research (i.e. farmers) enhances the acceptance and adoption of innovations, along with making the best use of the local knowledge that is available. The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland – one of the world’s leading institutions in the field of organic agricultural research – participates in numerous international projects, involving research, consultancy, training and development cooperation. With the objective of providing sound scientific information by comparative analysis of various agricultural management systems (e.g. conventional, organic, biodynamic), FiBL initiated a long term research programme in 2007, called the Farming Systems Comparison in the Tropics (SysCom). Participatory On-farm Research (POR) is a strong component of the SysCom programme, along with Long Term Experiments (LTEs) running on four research sites across three tropical countries (Kenya, India and Bolivia).
POR involves the active participation of various stakeholders, including local farmers, extension workers, trade/industry partners and researchers, in problem identification, exploration of possible solutions and testing of the proposed innovations. Experiments are conducted on both research farms (mother trials) and farmers’ fields (baby trials). Effective use of local knowledge and locally available resources is a priority in our POR work.
Our participatory research activities on homemade organic pesticides and enhancing phosphorus availability have shown remarkable success. We have developed a methodology to produce compost enriched with acidulate rock phosphate (RP) using locally available materials and have standardized the methodologies for preparation of various botanical pesticides. To address the strong demand for organic cottonseed, we started participatory breeding activities that have developed into a large-scale breeding project (Green Cotton Project).
In addition to the local farmers, we work in participation with an industrial partner (bioRe India) in Madhya Pradesh state, India; bioRe ensures the supply of inputs and procurement/marketing of organic cotton produced by the local farmers. The SysCom programme is financially supported by a coordination committee of donors comprised of various public and private funding bodies. Backstopping by a well-qualified scientific advisory board ensures that the research conducted in SysCom meets international standards. This case study describes the success of this partnership between farmers, researchers, public and private institutions.

EPrint Type:Book chapter
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Baumwolle, Cotton, Department of International Cooperation, Agriculture in the Tropics
Subjects: Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International Cooperation
Related Links:http://www.foa.org
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:29569
Deposited On:22 Dec 2015 11:13
Last Modified:28 Jan 2016 14:45
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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