Thursday, August 24, 2017

Book: Guidelines for Innovation Platforms in AR4D

Farmers in Myanmar used to pile their harvested paddy up to three weeks. Through the adaptive research trial feature of the Learning Alliance platform, farmers, extension and research staff from Myanmar were able to learn about the benefits of harvesting immediately with the use of lightweight thresher to service different farms.  Farmers have reduced, and some have stopped piling, which reduced postharvest losses up to 8% . 
Innovation platforms (IPs) provide a space for farmers, agricultural service providers, researchers, the private sector, and other stakeholders to jointly identify, analyze, and overcome constraints to agricultural development. Recognizing the need to reflect critically on how IPs can meaningfully contribute to agricultural research for development, collaborators from a number of CGIAR centers and universities have published a booklet, Guidelines for Innovation Platforms in Agricultural Research for Development.

The document provides insights from experiences with IPs in CGIAR on when such platforms would be appropriate, how they could be designed and implemented, and how their impacts should be assessed. Key issues include tailoring the composition of the platform to suit innovation objectives, mapping the costs, and finding the flexibility to adjust to changing requirements of stakeholders.

The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) contributed experiences from the Postharvest Learning Alliance in Cambodia and other learning alliances implemented in Myanmar through projects of ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research) and LIFT (Livelihood and Food Security Trust Fund), with co-funding from the CORIGAP project.

The book is available at

Experts chart future pathways for the rice straw market in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Upgrading rice value chains to make them more sustainable involves identifying new markets for the byproducts that are generated along the way. Technological upgrading in rice farming, for example, can bring in new challenges. While mechanized rice harvesting eliminates the back-breaking work of traditional harvesting, accomplishing it in a shorter time leaves even more straw to dispose of. Instead of burning the straw, developing a value chain for the straw itself can be achieved by finding new market outlets for the byproduct.

The BMZ-funded and CORIGAP co-funded project at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) is looking at alternative ways of using rice straw and exploring future potential markets that can bolster its value. On 1-2 June in Ho Chi Minh, key stakeholders at an expert elicitation workshop identified market prospects for potential rice straw products.

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