Upcoming Events

 

 

1.  The CSIR -STEPRI is going to hold a Workshop as part of its participation in the Africa RISING PROJECT.

Date: Tuesday 20th Augustu 2019

Venue: DR. Gogo AUditorium, CSIR-STEPRI, Accra

Time :9am

The workshop is on : 

ASSESSING INSTITUTIONS ENABLING OR CONSTRAINING ACCESS TO OUTPUT AND INPUT MARKETS BY FARM HOUSEHOLDS AND DELIVERY PATHWAYS FOR SUSTAINABLE INTENSIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES/PRACTICES

 

Background  

Smallholder farmers face multiple constraints both at the production and marketing levels. Farmers access to input and output markets remain limited. This affects not only the incomes of producers but also the welfare of other actors within the production and marketing value chains. Low soil fertility, reduced land sizes for production due to urbanization, environmental degradation, low incomes, limited finance, and low technical know-how are some of the constraints facing smallholder farmers in developing countries. A number of policies and programmes have been implemented by various governments aimed at improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. However, the desired impacts have been low due to various factors: poor implementation, limited involvement and support from private sector, lack of political will, weak enforcement of regulations, and low adoption of technologies by target beneficiaries.

Consequently, the Africa RISING Project is being implemented in West Africa and East Africa with several collaborators (farmers, researchers, policy institutions etc.) aimed at generating and disseminating technologies for the adoption of smallholder farmers for improved livelihoods. In Ghana, the project targets smallholder farmers in northern Ghana engaged in crop (Maize and Cowpea) and livestock (small ruminants) production. Technologies generated in these areas are disseminated to farmers through the concept of ‘Technology Parks’. 

The Science and Technology Policy Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-STEPRI) has been collaborating with the Africa RISING Project since 2017 in the area of analyzing policies that impact smallholder farmers. STEPRI is currently collaborating to deliver two main sub activities:

 1. Assess institutions enabling or constraining access to output and input markets by farm households (particularly youth and women) and

 2. Identify and assess delivery pathways of sustainable intensification practices/technologies to leverage and engage with existent initiatives including government extension systems.

The main outcome of STEPRI’s activity is that farmers and other value chain actors have greater and equitable access to production assets and markets (input and output), through enabling institutions and policies. Also, improved policies and institutional arrangements to increase participation of farm families, especially women and youth in the output and input markets and decision-making are developed, advocate for implementation by national governments, policy makers and development partners.

Workshop Goals and Objectives – The main goal of the workshop is to gather more inputs into the study report and share widely the findings and recommendations of the report for greater policy and institutional support at various levels (District, regional and national level).

Justification- The policy environment and smallholder institutional context influence the success of scaling-up projects and it is crucial to first understand the different contexts to be able to formulate strategic dissemination and scaling-up or out models for sustainable scaling up/out outcomes.

The key assumption is that smallholder farmers adopt sustainable intensification practices if they have access to effective input and output markets, which will lead to increased productivity and incomes. As such, the study took into account Sustainable Intensification (SI) indicators, gender, food security and nutrition, and climate change issues in the analysis. 

Sustainable intensification indicators

 

Environmental

Ecological practices, crop-livestock integrated innovations/ at farm household level

 

Economic

Profitability of agricultural activities related to increased dissemination and adoption of SI technologies at community level

 

Social

Social cohesion- types of interaction between proponents of SI technologies suppliers and users at community levels

 

Human

Capacity to experiment and innovate- number of farmers experimenting and using the validated technologies/ at farm household level

 

 

Household survey involving 448 households was conducted to understand the dynamics surrounding farmers access to input and output markets. Focus group discussions were held to validate some of the issues gathered during the household survey. Furthermore, Key Informant Interviews with various stakeholders (lead farmers, researchers, Agricultural Extension Staff, business advisory service providers, input dears, traders etc) were conducted insights generated on the delivery pathway adopted for SI technologies and the institutional and policy gaps that needs to be addressed. This stakeholder event is meant to share the research findings and get inputs from the wider stakeholders working to improve the living conditions of farming households.

 

2.  Development Research In Progress Seminars (DRIPS)

The CSIR-STEPRI has been organizing Research Seminars dubbed "Development Research in Progress seminars (DRIPs)." This aims at providing a platform for Scientists at the Institute and others from other organizations/Institutes to share their ongoing research work with a community of experts and in exchange, receive inputs to enrich their research and publications. These seminars are organized monthly and lasts for two hours, with usually two Scientists presenting. Attendance to these seminars is free and is open to the general public. However, the general public is required to contact the organizers for approval.

For more details on DRIPS please contact Dr. Richard Ampadu-Ameyaw or watch this space for specific dates and research topics to be discussed.