Participants at the award ceremony pose for a photo with the winners of the competition (seated, left to right): Perez Muchunguzi (3rd place), Rebecca Kalibwani (1st place) and Thanammal Ravichandran (2nd place) (photo credit: ILRI/Brian Kawuma).
This article is written by Brian Kawuma, communications officer for ILRI in Uganda.
From offering a legal precedent for the creation of an innovation platform to demonstrating pathways to overcoming constraints in dairy marketing, the winners of the Innovations Platforms Case Study Competition are a testimony to the effectiveness of this ‘innovation platforms’ approach in linking up small-scale food producers, service providers and policymakers. This is how Ruth Nankabirwa, the government chief whip in Uganda, described the innovation platform approach adopted by the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on the Humidtropics.
The Humidtropics-sponsored competition was launched in Nov 2014. The following February, twelve candidates were selected to participate in a writeshop focused on writing stronger, more reflective and cohesive cases. Case studies were assessed based on their content, writing and usefulness. The winners were selected on the basis of having demonstrated the effectiveness of innovation platforms and having documented stories about mature innovation platforms from the developing world.
Speaking at an awards ceremony to recognize the winners of the Innovations Platforms Case Study Competition on 30 Nov 2015, Nankabirwa commended the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) for their roles in promoting participatory approaches in the Humidtropics CGIAR research program. According to Nankabirwa, this innovation platform approach helps link smallholder producers to markets and input services.
Nankabirwa also launched a Humidtropics anthology in the form of a book entitled Innovation Platforms for Agricultural Development: Evaluating the Mature Innovation Platforms Landscape, which features eight case studies selected from twelve that were submitted for evaluation by an expert panel.
Ruth Nankabirwa launches the book; looking on (L-R) are Piet VanAsten, Kwesi Atta-Krah, Oluwole Fatunbi and Iddo Dror (photo credit: ILRI/Brian Kawuma).
‘The book I launch today enhances the body of knowledge about mature innovation platforms in agricultural systems research, including the crop and livestock sectors, and innovations in farmer co-operatives and agricultural extension services’, Nankabirwa said.
Referring to ‘Can an Innovation Platform Succeed as a Cooperative Society?, which is the story of Bubaare Innovation Platform Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd., the judges commended the authors for having done ‘a great job in illustrating a true multipurpose innovation platform, with the capacity to innovate and scale up its innovations for the benefit of members’. In discussing MilkIT Innovation Platform: Changing Women’s Lives–One Cow and One Litre of Milk at a Time–Deep in the Foothills of India’s Himalayan Mountains, the judges said it ‘demonstrates a pathway for removing constraints faced by dairy farmers in India, with development and policy impact, and powerful lessons.’
Rebecca Kalibwani, Thanammal Ravichandran and Perez Muchunguzi emerged as the three winners (first, second and third places, respectively) and received cash prizes totalling USD4,500.
For more information, see this article on the Humidtropics website.
You can buy the book online and have a look inside it on the publisher’s website: http://www.tandf.net/books/details/9781138181717/