Meeting with village women at Jukanoli, in India’s Uttarakhand, to prepare for a MilkIT project (photo credit: ILRI/Nils Teufel).
‘Three projects on innovative farmers’ cooperatives, best farming practices in hilly areas and better marketing of milk were winners at recent awards for Innovation Platforms (IP) Case Study Competitions held in Kampala.
‘These were part of the 30 entries that were submitted and the 12 shortlisted.
‘It was organised by International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), Makerere University and National Agricultural Research Organisation (Naro), among others.
‘At the same occasion, a book titled Innovation Platforms for Agricultural Development: Evaluating the Mature Innovation Platforms Landscape arising from the winning studies and five others, was launched.
‘The publication documents stories and assessments of ‘innovation platforms] from various countries: Central Africa, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Nicaragua and Uganda.
‘Ruth Nankabirwa, the Government Chief Whip, was the guest of honour at the occasion at which the winners were awarded prizes of $2,000 (Shs6.9m), $1,500(Shs5.2m) and $1,000 (Shs3.5m) respectively for the first, second and third positions. . . .
‘Rebecca Kalibwani, from Bishop Stuart University was overall winner for the case study, Can an Innovation Platform Succeed as a Cooperative Society? The Story of Bubaare Innovation Platform Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd. It was about a new model of cooperative society with an innovative organisation. . . .
‘In second place was Thanammal Ravichandran, from ILRI, India. She won for the [innovation platform] case study, 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 . . . .
‘This stimulated some quick changes and benefits. For example, more than 800 households are now selling their milk at higher prices due to collective marketing by self-help group-based cooperatives and closer links to the state cooperative, with subsidies provided to those transporting milk from distant villages to markets. . . . . An impact study conducted in November 2014 showed that families participating in this innovation platform earned five times more income from their dairy animals than non-participants over a 12-month period. Participating households also reported that their planted fodder generated 50 days of feed for their cows while non-participating households derived feed from planted forages lasting only 12 days.
‘In the third position was Perez Muchunguzi, from IITA Central Africa, who won for the case study, Overcoming Challenges for Crops, People and Policies in Central Africa—the Story of CIALCA Stakeholder Engagement. It features cross-country collaborations in the Great Lakes region engaging different [innovation platforms]. . . .
Read the whole article in the Daily Monitor (Uganda): Using Innovation Platforms to Boost Agricultural Production, 23 Dec 2015.