Catalyzing the Adoption and Use of Scalable technologies in Africa (CAUSA)

Marc Bernard (AfricaRice)

Context: The main goal/purpose of this project is to strengthen the innovation process and in particular to increase the adoption-rate of improved technologies by systematic information exchange and interaction between value-chain actors and the research and development community. The duration is October 2014 to December 2016. It will involve field work with value chain actors in 19 communities in Benin (7), Côte d’Ivoire (4), Guinea (4) and Togo (4). At a start the focus will be on the rice value chain but other crops will be considered according to local and national priorities. The action is funded by BMZ (Germany) and will closely link to ongoing GIZ agricultural development projects in the sub-region. It contributes to the G8 New Alliance Program for Food Security and Nutrition in which Benin and Germany are partnering.

Problem/Issue: The central problem that is addressed is the low rate of technology adoption. The main goal/purpose is to strengthen the innovation process and in particular to increase the adoption-rate of improved technologies by systematic information exchange and interaction between value-chain actors and the research and development community.

Intervention: The innovation process will be stimulated through multi-stakeholder platforms (MSP), supported by an enhanced information system for innovation in agriculture (eHub) and facilitated by the provision of a range of innovation-support-services.

Approach: Service delivery and scalability will be assured by a demand driven and result oriented business model that operates on the basis of local prices. It prioritizes the inclusion of young professionals and strengthens inter-institutional collaboration in service delivery at community level. An e-learning module will facilitate capacity development and out-scaling of the innovations. Figure 1 provides an overview of the main components of the CAUSA project.

It is expected that the resulting solution provides an operational framework for strengthening agricultural innovation systems and scaling of technologies that can be used by a large rang of agricultural initiatives and organizations.

Challenges & Lessons Learned: The business model was successfully tested in 8 countries of SSA for a range of knowledge management services in collaboration with FARA. Institutionalization of the solution is perceived as one of the main challenges. To solve the issue will be one of the main tasks of the advisory board that will be composed of representatives of national and regional partners and partners of development.

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