PARI side-event at AGRF-2017 stresses need for innovations to drive agricultural growth in Africa

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At the side-event of the Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation (PARI) at the African Green Revolution Forum 2017 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, leading researchers and policy makers presented their ideas on how and where to best target innovation investments for sustainable agricultural growth and rural development.

Dr. Ousmane Badiane, Africa Director of IFPRI, outlined an analytical approach for identifying the most suitable regions and adapted innovations for investment which PARI researchers are applying in several African countries.

Dr. Oluwole Fatunbi, Lead Specialist at FARA, called for strategies to scale innovations to be integrated into the development process and presented different strategies and examples of scaling approaches.

Prof. Ashok Gulati from ICRIER shared experiences of cutting-edge agricultural technologies applied in India that could also be relevance to African farmers.

Dr. Kouassi Breédoumy, Director for Production and Food Security at the Ministry of Agriculture, presented successful examples of innovation investments from Côte d’Ivoire.

Dr. Nick Austin, Director for Agricultural Development at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, described the Foundation’s approach to scaling innovation investments.

Sharing experiences from Ghana, Dr. Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw, Head of Division at CSIR-STEPRI, highlighted the role of financing and entrepreneurship in scaling innovations along agricultural value chains.

In his closing remarks, Prof. Joachim von Braun, Director at ZEF, reminded participants that the introduction of innovations may also have detrimental impacts and called for supporting strategies to ensure win-win outcomes.