The Institute of Natural Resources (INR) is the facilitating NGO for Prolinnova-South Africa, which aims to build and strengthen partnerships between the various stakeholders involved in agricultural research and development in South Africa.
The platform in South Africa was launched in 2004. Projects that have been undertaken by Prolinnova-South Africa have included:
- Farmer Access to Innovation Resources (FAIR), which involved the establishment of a local innovation support facility to promote local innovation (LI) and participatory innovation development (PID)
- The HIV/AIDS and PID (HAPID) initiative that investigated the role that LI and PID can play in terms of either preventing infection or overcoming the challenges associated with HIV/AIDS.
- Farmer-led documentation (FLD) pilot in KwaZulu-Natal Province, which looked at the advantages of FLD as a tool for facilitating sharing and communication.
- Nuffic-funded tailor-made training programme: training and mentoring to develop capacity in PID.
Over the years, the network has been involved in identifying cases of local innovation, building capacity in undertaking farmer-led joint experimentation and conducting participatory innovation development.
A key concern of the programme is how to protect farmers’ intellectual property rights and maintain their competitive advantage, while encouraging them to share innovations so as to stimulate dynamic innovation processes that bring together different knowledge systems.
While we do not currently have a specific project that supports joint activities, the partners continue to integrate into their own programmes the principles of participatory research and an appreciation of farmers’ ability to innovate.