A meeting of stakeholders in agricultural research and development (ARD) was organised by Development Resource Initiative (DRIVE) on 20 August 2008 to facilitate the establishment of Prolinnova in Nigeria. The meeting was attended by 26 stakeholders drawn from farmers’ groups, NGOs, national research institutes, the national extension system, colleges of agriculture, an association of agricultural input suppliers and international development agencies.
The specific objectives of the meeting were to raise awareness of Prolinnova among stakeholders in ARD, discuss and agree on management structure for the programme and develop a country platform that would shape its implementation in Nigeria. One of the highlights of the meeting was the inauguration of Prolinnova-Nigeria Learning Group, which comprises 26 members from the various stakeholder groups mentioned above.
The formation of the group was underpinned by the commitment made by members to support the implementation of the programme in Nigeria. A team of five members was selected from the Learning Group to take charge of the work to be done, after the larger group has decided on what should be done. The outcomes of the meeting culminated in the admission of Prolinnova-Nigeria into the international Prolinnova community of practice in February 2009. The activities of Prolinnova-Nigeria are anchored on the vision and mission statements developed by members at the meeting:
A Nigerian society where farmers influence the agricultural research and development agenda for improved livelihoods
The mission of Prolinnova-Nigeria is to promote the participation of farmers and other stakeholders in agricultural research and development for improved and sustainable livelihoods through the use of Participatory Innovation Development approaches
Objectives of Prolinnova-Nigeria
- Identify and document local innovations, innovation processes and innovators among farmers as an entry point for joint investigations in agricultural research and development
- Facilitate the establishment of multi-stakeholder platforms for the testing, adoption and utilisation of innovations in agricultural research and development
- Build the capacity of members in Participatory Innovation Development approaches
- Raise awareness of Participatory Development approaches among policymaking institutions in the agricultural research and development sector
- Document lessons learned from implementation of Participatory Innovation Development approaches in Nigeria and share with a wider audience.
Proposed institutional structure
Membership is open to individuals and institutions in the ARD sector in the country. A core team of five was selected from the membership based on availability, commitment and experience to take charge of day-to-day running of the network and to implement decisions made by the larger group.
The core team reports to the membership on progress made on the activities of the organization. The coordinating NGO, Development Resource Initiative (DRIVE), provides administrative and technical support to the network. Presently, the network is operating in one region ( Kaduna) but there is an intention to extend activities to other regions with a national steering committee overseeing the work in the country and regional teams providing support.
The inception phase of Prolinnova-Nigeria is expected to commence in 2009. The major activities that will be carried out are as follows:
- Organise Participatory Innovation Development workshop to enhance the capacity of members to scale up the approach in Nigeria
- Identify and document local innovations and innovators
- Document and share experiences on local innovations
- Organise follow-up workshop on analysis of local innovations for dissemination or joint experimentation
- Organise planning workshop for joint experimentation
- Mobilise resources to support the activities of the network.