Keeping the Research Out of the Museum

Researchers may be experts in their fields but the users of the research are common people in the street. Thus the architects and potential users of research often do not share the same language. Too often researchers dress their work up so it sounds fancy and complicated.

THE GFAR BLOG

Smithsonian_American_Art_Museum_exterior_3

It is widely recognized that most research sits on shelves or is stored in computer databases rather than being disseminated and used.

The most common challenge in disseminating research is the language in which reports are prepared. Researchers may be experts in their fields but the users of the research are common people in the street. Thus the architects and potential users of research often do not share the same language. Too often researchers dress their work up so it sounds fancy and complicated, producing technical research reports of different sizes but all in the language of the expert.

Unfortunately, theirs is not the language of farmers, policymakers or extension officers, who find much of what is being presented less relevant than it should be. This is not because the subject matter of the research is not interesting but because the language is abstruse. Researchers lack the capacity to produce reports that will…

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Keeping the Research Out of the Museum

Researchers may be experts in their fields but the users of the research are common people in the street. Thus the architects and potential users of research often do not share the same language. Too often researchers dress their work up so it sounds fancy and complicated.

THE GFAR BLOG

Smithsonian_American_Art_Museum_exterior_3

It is widely recognized that most research sits on shelves or is stored in computer databases rather than being disseminated and used.

The most common challenge in disseminating research is the language in which reports are prepared. Researchers may be experts in their fields but the users of the research are common people in the street. Thus the architects and potential users of research often do not share the same language. Too often researchers dress their work up so it sounds fancy and complicated, producing technical research reports of different sizes but all in the language of the expert.

Unfortunately, theirs is not the language of farmers, policymakers or extension officers, who find much of what is being presented less relevant than it should be. This is not because the subject matter of the research is not interesting but because the language is abstruse. Researchers lack the capacity to produce reports that will…

View original post 449 more words

Agri-Financing Made Easy!

Financial institutions and investors must consider cash flow based lending which is best suited for “un-bankable” business owners that have a regular cash flow but have personal credit issues. In this scenario, loans are based on the cash flow of the business instead of the credit rating of the owner and usually do not exceed a certain percentage of annual cash sales. Any smallholder farmer that keeps a record of his/her transactions can then qualify.

THE GFAR BLOG

Palm with a plant growng from pile of coins

Financial support for farmers and agribusinesses is poorly understood, however at the Global Conference for Agricultural Research in Johannesburg recently, Calvin Miller, Group Leader of the Agribusiness Finance Group at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), presented some  recommendations for all actors in the value chain that may just make agri-financing accessible.

Worldwide, agriculture is a major source of income for the rural poor, and agricultural growth has been shown to help reduce rural poverty.  Access to finance is one way to achieve this growth. Mr Miller says that agribusinesses that look for financing must understand their market demand and how their outputs respond to that demand. Since the lending institutions do not have the competence to assess individual market demand, the burden is on the borrower to do so. Because the market is at the one end of the value chain and the farmer is at the other,  solutions to access to finance depend on the actors…

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What women want? Gender, genetics and livestock improvement

Gender dimensions in Livestock breeding

CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish

Improving animal genetics is the focus of one of the flagship projects of the Livestock and Fish CGIAR research program. It aims to maximize productivity – and profitability – ‘gains’ obtained from animal breeding and improvement.

It’s well-known that livestock can be bred for different priorities and objectives. In Australia, for example, sophisticated databases help farmers identify desired breeding traits and parameters so they can customize their sheep flocks for different markets.

Julie Ojango

In 2015, ILRI scientists leading projects in Nicaragua and Somaliland took a special interest in the (human) gender dimensions of their projects. Working with the Livestock and Fish Gender Initiative, livestock geneticists Julie Ojango and Karen Marshall decided to dig deeper to discover whether specific gender analysis integrated in their projects could help the communities they work with realize improved genetics gains in their animals.

The gender analysis, it was hoped, would highlight any differences…

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Farmers, Market Participation and Open Data

Data and information are important for sustainable farming, meeting new challenges to agriculture and creating efficient market chains.

At the moment the main barrier to making data open for sharing and exchange is the lack of trust about equitable and fair use. This lack of trust is between countries, societies, communities and different groups of actors and users of agricultural, farming and food related data.

THE GFAR BLOG

12 November 2004, Ghana - FAO project beneficiaries sorting tomatoes for sale at a local market. FAO Project: UTF/GHA/027/GHA - Special Programme for Food Security Phase I. The Objectives are to increase smallholders' productivity and improve household food security at selected sites representing the different farming/irrigation systems through sustainable use of improved agriculture technologies; Develop management capacities of farmers and farmers associations; Demonstrate, test and adjust a process for assisting farmers to benefit from improved technology on a sustainable basis. 12 November 2004, Ghana – FAO project beneficiaries sorting tomatoes for sale at a local market. 

Traditionally, farmers needed to know what to grow, when to grow, how to grow and where to grow. With agriculture the world over becoming increasingly market oriented, farmers now also need to know what market, when to market, how to market and where to market in addition to many other kinds of information for successful and sustainable farming.  Information is now also needed by different actors, especially governments and development agencies at national, regional and global levels to meet new challenges to agriculture such as for efficient land and water use, preventing desertification, managing spread of disease and pests, managing and compensating for farm disasters such as from drought, floods etc.

Data and information that farmers need

Most of the information farmers need now is primarily sourced as data from many different sources and…

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Super crop for future food security in marginal environments

THE GFAR BLOG

Quinua
As the United Nations forecasts that the global population will hit 9.7 billion in 2050, scientists warn that industrial agriculture might be reaching its limits to produce enough food to feed a growing population. By some estimates, food production will need to go up by about 60 per cent by 2050 to meet the demand. According to a study by scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, prevalence of the declines and plateaus in production of major crops since the 1990s indicates that maximum potential yields under the industrial model of agribusiness have already occurred. The researchers argue that some of the causes include land and soil degradation, climate change, and inadequate or inappropriate investment. This raises concerns about whether traditional agricultural methods will be enough to sustain global food production targets as regions which already suffer from malnutrition, water scarcity and soil degradation are forecast to see the largest…

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