Collaboration in learning at the farm level to achieve development goals
presented by Ralph von Kaufmann
Last modified: September 20, 2006
Presentation date: 11/01/2006 2:30 PM in NT Manchester
The success of innovation systems is correlated with the extent and openness with which the stakeholders across the whole value chain interact and exchange ideas and information. Smallholders and pastoralists have most knowledge of their own production systems and take the greatest risk in innovation yet they tend to be regarded as the recipients of knowledge rather than key actors in producing it. To take advantage of market demands they need to combine their unique knowledge with new knowledge on the potential marketable products. They must be enabled to learn where the markets are, what standards and regulation they will have to meet, and how to organise themselves to have the right quantities at the right times. They must also be able to get answers to questions promptly when they arise, such as on the outbreak of disease or turns in the market. The need for exchange of knowledge extends both ways because scientists and extension agents will serve the producers best when they can learn from the producers about their problems and can build on their knowledge. Advances in ICT and distance learning methodologies are opening opportunities for joint learning with remote rural communities in previously unimaginable ways.