Strengthening local agricultural innovation systems in less favoured and high potential areas of Tanzania and Malawi (2007)

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In many sub-Saharan African countries, poverty and food insecurity are linked to low agricultural productivity which accelerating climate change (CC) threatens to make even worse. In Tanzania and Malawi, a key challenge for decision makers is to understand the context and strategies of farmers and other stakeholders in agriculture for adapting to CC, including increasingly variable climatic conditions. Diverse farming environments and complexities associated with the context of peoples’ livelihoods varying over time and space suggest a need for localized innovation to enhance and sustain productivity. This study intends to foster processes for two-way communication and engagement amongst these stakeholders and for supporting their information and other needs in order to strengthen farmers’ and other stakeholders’ capacities to adapt. The action research funded by DFID through IDRC targets farming communities in two contrasting sites (low and high potential areas) per country together with local, district, national, regional and international stakeholders and identifies/accesses information to be shared and used to develop agricultural innovation systems better able to adapt to CC and variability. A combination of a sustainable livelihoods framework and innovations systems thinking will provide a conceptual frame and a learning alliance approach will guide our action research. We will build on: Trans-disciplinary partnerships and initiatives in agriculture and natural resources; Tanzania’s and Malawi’s NAPAs (National Adaptation Programme of Action), which prioritize agriculture; Farmers’ livelihood strategies in relation to CC; and other agricultural stakeholders’ (public & private) strategies. The process will include distinguishing agro-ecologically and socio-economically more and less favored areas and direct and indirect benefits to the vulnerable.
Language: English
Imprint: Six month (April-September, 2007) progress report submitted to IDRC 2007
Series: Report,