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Innovation platforms and agricultural value chain development

Innovation platforms are widely used in agricultural research to connect different stakeholders to achieve common goals. To help document recent experiences and insights, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) recently published a series of short innovation platform ‘practice briefs’ to help guide the design and implementation of innovation platforms in agricultural research for development.

This sixth brief explains ways that innovation platforms can be a useful vehicle to promote market development.

How an innovation platform in Zimbabwe overcame a bottleneck in the value chain for goats.

An innovation platform is defined as ‘a space for learning and change. It is a group of individuals (who often represent organizations) with different backgrounds and interests: farmers, traders, food processors, researchers, government officials etc. The members come together to diagnose problems, identify opportunities and find ways to achieve their goals. They may design and implement activities as a platform, or coordinate activities by individual members.’

Innovation platforms offer a practical way to deal with the complex issues and multiple stakeholders involved in value chains. They bring together a range of stakeholders: farmers, traders, processors, input suppliers, credit suppliers, market information providers, insurance services, policymakers, extensionists and researchers. Together, these stakeholders design solutions to problems along the value chain.

Download the brief

See all the briefs

More on innovation platforms

Related ILRI materials on innovation systems

This brief is authored by Eliud Birachi (CIAT), Andre van Rooyen (ICRISAT), Hubert Some (SNV), Felisberto Maute (ILRI), Jo Cadilhon (ILRI), Adewale Adekunle (FARA) and Kees Swaans (ILRI). It is a contribution to the CGIAR Humidtropics research program. The development of the briefs was led by the International Livestock Research Institute; the briefs draw on experiences of the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food, several CGIAR centres and partner organization.The series comprises 14 briefs:

  1. What are innovation platforms?
  2. Innovation platforms to shape national policy
  3. Research and innovation platforms
  4. Power dynamics and representation in innovation platforms
  5. Monitoring innovation platforms
  6. Innovation platforms for agricultural value chain development
  7. Communication in innovation platforms
  8. Developing innovation capacity through innovation platforms
  9. Linking action at different levels through innovation platforms
  10. Facilitating innovation platforms
  11. Innovation platforms to support natural resource management
  12. Impact of innovation platform
  13. Scaling and innovation platforms
  14. Addressing gender dynamics in innovation platforms

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