IAR4D

FARA developed and proposed the concept of Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) to address the shortcomings of linear approaches to the implementation of agricultural research for development. The concept of IAR4D embraces agriculture as a system of sub-systems that work together to contribute to development. It therefore encourages all actors, organizations and institutions in the agricultural sector to work together to promote the development of the sector. IAR4D uses both the systems approach and the product-centric approach. It also involves all actors along the value chain of products including external actors such as policy makers, financial institutions, meteorologists, insurance, etc.

The IAR4D concept presents the Innovation Platform (IP) as its operational tool. IP is a forum set up for a group of relevant actors selected along the value chain of a specific product or production system. Actors include farmers, researchers, extensionists, traders, processors, financial institutions, policymakers, regulators, consumers and others. These different actors interact in order to jointly identify the problems, find solutions leading to the creation of innovations and its related socio-economic benefits.

The impact of carrying out agricultural research activities for development through the use of the IAR4D concept comes from the complementary effect of the different skills of IP actors. Above all, all the actors of the platform must make a contribution and benefit from the activities of the platform. This will support their participation until innovations that benefit everyone are generated.

IP-level activities encompass everything from natural resource management, productivity, market, policy, product development, nutrition and gender issues. These activities often generate technological innovations that are complemented by institutional and infrastructural innovations that provide rapid socio-economic benefits, including the reduction of poverty among small farmers.

Although agricultural activities are conducted in the field and especially in rural and remote areas, they are governed and managed by policies and decisions developed and taken at both the national and local levels. Innovation platforms are therefore required at different levels of management related to agricultural development. In general, IPs are required at both strategic and operational levels. IPs at the strategic level are platforms set up at higher governance hierarchies to develop strategies for agricultural development in their area of ​​governance. Strategic IPs involve CEOs from different stakeholder organizations in the country’s agricultural sector and review strategies for promoting innovation along targeted products or systems. They also facilitate the establishment of operational innovation platforms. Operational innovation platforms have different priorities than strategic IPs, although they recruit members from similar organizations. Recruited staff are field staff who are able to facilitate IP activities and who have been mandated by the Director General to do so. Operational IPs are in line with the market and work on a specific product to meet market demand. They also facilitate the establishment of operational innovation platforms. Operational innovation platforms have different priorities than strategic IPs, although they recruit members from similar organizations. Recruited staff are field staff who are able to facilitate IP activities and who have been mandated by the Director General to do so. Operational IPs are in line with the market and work on a specific product to meet market demand. They also facilitate the establishment of operational innovation platforms. Operational innovation platforms have different priorities than strategic IPs, although they recruit members from similar organizations. Recruited staff are field staff who are able to facilitate IP activities and who have been mandated by the Director General to do so. Operational IPs are in line with the market and work on a specific product to meet market demand. Recruited staff are field staff who are able to facilitate IP activities and who have been mandated by the Director General to do so. Operational IPs are in line with the market and work on a specific product to meet market demand. Recruited staff are field staff who are able to facilitate IP activities and who have been mandated by the Director General to do so. Operational IPs are in line with the market and work on a specific product to meet market demand.

The concept of IAR4D brings socio-economic benefits by adhering to the following operational principles:

  1. IAR4D sees research and development as a merged continuum for the generation of innovation.
  2. All IP stakeholders have a contribution and benefits that support their interest and continued participation.
  3. The innovation generated using IAR4D will be useful to all stakeholders on the platform.
  4. IAR4D mobilizes decision makers at different levels throughout the R & D process up to the generation of innovation.
  5. IAR4D requires investments from partners with, subsequently, a return on investment.
  6. IAR4D ensures a harmonious public-private partnership in Agricultural Research for Development (ARD).
  7. An inclusive partnership to address technological and non-technological issues.
  8. IAR4D connects research projects of all kinds (basic, strategic and adaptive research) for the benefit of farmers.
  9. IAR4D ensures effective participation and capacity building of NARS.

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