Innovations in Agriculture: Scaling Up to Reach Millions

  • 29th September 2018
  • by secretary

25-27 September 2018. Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. Innovations in Agriculture: Scaling Up to Reach Millions.

Successfully scaling up innovations to make them truly impactful and sustainable has proven to be difficult. The Scale Up Conference is a high-level event that will bring together 200-300 individuals and organizations engaged in the introduction, diffusion, and adoption of agricultural innovations that have the potential to reach millions.

  • Scaled-up agricultural technologies and innovations can be a game-changer in food-insecure countries. This conference seeks to address the following questions about scale up:
  • What hinders large scale adoption?
  • What makes things scalable?
  • What driving factors are critical for successful scale up? (e.g., markets, capital, policy, behavioral changes)
  • How can multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives facilitate success?
  • What has worked, what hasn’t, and why?
  • Who can I connect with at the conference to enhance scale up efforts?

Extracts of the programme

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION Scale Up: A Necessity for Transformative Development Akinwumi Adesina – President, African Development Bank Group
Session 2: Assessing Scalability – Case studies

  • Africa’s Private Sector-Led Seed Revolution. Joe DeVries – Vice President, Program Development and Innovation, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
    Investments by The Rockefeller Foundation and others in agro-ecology-based crop breeding and private sector seed supply in the early 2000s, revealed that Africa’s farmers were highly interested in higher-yielding seed but lacked dependable access to seed of improved varieties adapted to local growing conditions. Rockefeller’s focus on African crop breeding, establishing private, independent seed companies, and village-based agro-dealers received a major boost when the Gates Foundation joined up with Rockefeller in 2006 to establish the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). 
  • Incentivizing Affordable On-Farm Storage for Smallholder Farmers. Parasto Hamed – AgResults Field Coordinator, Deloitte
    The AgResults Kenya On-Farm Storage Challenge Project attempts to address the challenge of reducing post-harvest grain losses by incentivizing private sector actors to develop, market, and promote new or redesigned on-farm storage devices to smallholder farmers who cultivate five hectares or less. Under the pay-for-results (P4R) model, monetary awards are given to participants that achieve predetermined result thresholds. The distribution of awards is based upon the cumulative storage capacity sold by the private sector companies to smallholder farmers. The P4R mechanism is technology, marketing, and distribution agnostic, encouraging participating companies to consider cost and storage effectiveness as well as the economic benefits to smallholder farmers.
  • USAID’s Tool for Assessing Scalability: Lessons from Development and Applications. Richard

    Kohl – Lead Consultant and Vice President for Scaling and Strategy, Strategy and Scale LLC; Mark Huisenga – Senior Program Manager, Bureau for Food Security, Market & Partnership Innovations Office, USAID
    The Agricultural Scalability Assessment Tool (ASAT) is designed to provide a qualitative appraisal of an innovation’s scalability. While innovations do have intrinsic features that may make them more or less scalable in general, most of the factors affecting scaling potential can only be assessed relative to a specific socio-economic context and the characteristics of target adopters. The

    ASAT provides information on the strengths and weaknesses of the innovation relative to scalability, the most promising scaling up pathways (i.e., commercial, public, or public-private partnerships), and information on the extent to which target contexts — locations and populations – and their market and public-sector capacity currently facilitate scaling

  • Scaling Up Agricultural Machinery in Bangladesh. Tim Prewitt (CEO) and Conor Riggs – Director of Market Systems and Entrepreneurship, International Development Enterprises (iDE)
    The innovations currently being scaled up are three agricultural machines that are relatively

    new to Bangladesh. These are: (1) axial flow pumps (AFPs) which are used for irrigation from surface water sources and operated by separate diesel engines; (2) power tiller operated seeders (PTOS) which provide tilling, seeding and, in principle, fertilizing services; and (3) self-propelled reapers (SPRs) which cut field crops like rice, wheat, jute and possibly other crops like jute

  • From Thousands to Millions: Selected World Bank Experience on Scaling Up Innovations in Agriculture Simeon Ehui – Agriculture Global Practice, World Bank Group
Session 5: Effectively Engaging and Leveraging Partners
The Importance of Partnerships to Catalyze and Sustain Inclusive Agricultural Transformation (IAT) in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia: BMGF Perspective Enock Chikava – Deputy Director, Agricultural Development, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Panel Discussion: Roles of Actors That Help Take Technology to Market
  • Extension. Tunji Arokoyo – Prof.; Consultant Agriculturist and Participatory Extension Specialist & Trainer, Ahmadu Bello University 
  • Local Business. Suraj Devani – Director, Pee Pee Tanzania Ltd. (PPTL) 
  • Smallholder Farmers. Brian Heese – Director, Investor Relations, One Acre Fund 
  • Development Organization-Facilitated PPPs. Floortje Jacobs –Public-Private Partnerships Advisor, SNV Netherlands Development Organization 
  • Global Company. Thavy Staal – Sustainability and Project Manager, Crop Protection Africa & Middle East, BASF
Session 6: Examples of Successes and Failures; Lessons Learned

  • From Science to Scale: Aflasafe. Ranajit Bandyopadhyay – Principal Scientist; Leader of Africa-wide Aflasafe Initiative, and Abdou Konlambigue – Managing Director, Aflasafe Technology Transfer and Commercialization, IITA
    In Africa, the bio-control product Aflasafe developed by IITA, USDA-ARS and partners, lowers aflatoxins throughout the value chain. The AgResults Initiative in Nigeria works with private-sector partners who disburse Aflasafe. They facilitate access to technical knowledge and inputs that farmers require to boost productivity and move from subsistence to market-driven producers. 
  • Scaling Up Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato for Nutrition and Incomes. Simon Heck – Program

    Leader, Sweet potato, International Potato Center (CIP); and Howarth Bouis – Interim Chief Executive Officer, HarvestPlus
    CIP and partners have been using an integrated agriculture-nutrition-marketing approach to develop and promote diversified utilization of biofortified orangefleshed sweet potato (OFSP) to address vitamin A deficiency in young children and women of reproductive age. This initiative has been coordinated through multiinstitutional technical support platforms in Uganda (for East and Central Africa), Mozambique (for Southern Africa), and Ghana (for West Africa). As a result, over the past 10 years, more than 4.5 million farming households with children under 5 years of age in at least 15 African countries have started to grow OFSP for family nutrition and increasingly also for sale

  • Scaling Agricultural Mechanization Worldwide: Case of the 2-Wheel Tractor (2WT). Jelle van Loon – Mechanization Specialist, Latin America and Lennart Woltering – Scaling Advisor, CIMMYT
    This case study reviews experiences in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia in scaling-out 2WT-based farm machinery services to benefit smallholder farmers’ livelihoods. We review crucial considerations in small-scale farm mechanization – with particular emphasis on multiple farm services provision, adaptable business models, and the facilitation of value chain and private sector ‘push and pull’ to catalyze adoption. 
  • Commercializing Strigaway Maize to Address Witchweed (Striga) in East Africa.Bob Rabatsky – Senior VP, Director of Feed the Future Partnering, and Andrew Bracken – Partnership Manager, Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation Project, Fintrac
    CIMMYT and BASF partnered with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) to commercialize this seed technology through six seed companies in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. With Partnering for Innovation funding, AATF provided foundation seed to seed companies for replication, provided equipment and technical assistance for these companies to coat, demonstrate, and sell imazapyr-resistant maize seed to smallholder farmers, and monitored seed adoption and sales by agro-dealers.
  • Scaling Quality Vegetable Varieties in Africa. Pepijn Schreinemachers – Flagship Program Leader, Enabling Impact, World Vegetable Center
    The introduction of new tomato varieties in Tanzania coincided with the liberalization of the country’s seed laws in the early 1990s. Seed companies emerged but had no suitable breeding lines of their own. Multinational seed companies were not yet present. Success was achieved by partnering with the public and private sectors with the support of international donors investing in research. To enable further impact of vegetable varieties, WorldVeg has formalized its partnership with seed companies in Africa and Asia through vegetable breeding consortia under the umbrella of regional seed trade associations. Over thirty seed companies have already joined these consortia, which means that new breeding materials can reach farmers rapidly