Multi-stakeholder processes to develop capacities to innovate for food and nutrition security

  • 16th October 2019
  • by secretary
17 October 2019.  Rome. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is the foremost inclusive international and intergovernmental platform for all stakeholders to work together to ensure food security and nutrition for all. The Committee reports to the UN General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and to FAO Conference.

A CFS46 side event (SEO94) Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Systems for Family Farming: Multi-stakeholder processes to develop capacities to innovate for food and nutrition security showcased and discussed evidence from success stories, emphasizing the contributions of research and extension and rural advisory services among other innovation actors.

It highlighted strategies for assessing and strengthening capacities to innovate and engage in multi-stakeholder processes for agricultural innovation. Innovation is the driving force that can transform food systems and lift family farmers out of poverty to help the world achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Multi-stakeholder processes which revolve around family farmers, the major producers of the food we eat, are crucial for fostering innovation at the local, national and global levels. Farmers are at the center of the transformative change agenda for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically zero hunger and poverty alleviation.

  • Selvaraju Ramasamy, Head, Research and Extension Unit, FAO Overview of FAO’s role in strengthening agricultural innovation systems for family farmers 
  • Theo De Jager, President, World Farmers’ Organization Farmers in the global political processes on climate change and agriculture: The Climakers Initiative 
  • Judith Francis, Chair of the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP) The TAP Common Framework on Capacity Development for Agriculture Innovation System 
  • Etienne Coyette, Policy officer for Agriculture and Climate change, DG DEVCO, European Commission EU approach in support to innovation and research for agricultural and rural transformation
  • Teresa Pinto-Correia, Coordinator, Horizon 2020 SALSA project, University of Évora Understanding the role of small farms in Europe and Africa: the transdisciplinary research approach of the SALSA project


SALSA is an EU-funded, transdisciplinary, research project that works for a better understanding of how small farms and food businesses contribute to sustainable food and nutrition security (FNS).

  • Salsa gathers 16 European and African partners, including research institutes, universities and farmers’ organizations, whose combined experience is key to unravel the complex relationships between small-scale farming and global food and nutrition security. 
  • Under the umbrella of the Horizon 2020 program, SALSA pioneers a novel integrated multi-method approach in 25 regions in Europe and 5 in Africa, using the most recent and innovative technologies, such as SENTINEL-2 satellite imagery, food systems mapping and participatory foresight analysis. 
  • By using a transdisciplinary approach and developing an in-depth analysis of food systems in the 30 reference regions, the project intends to evaluate the potential response of small farms and food businesses to expected increases in demand for food, feed and fibre.

In addition, SALSA also aims to identify and assess the governance frameworks that influence the contribution of small-scale farming to food and nutrition security. Accordingly, SALSA is working on policy recommendations to enhance the contribution of small farms to sustainable food nutrition security and address innovation needs in order to maintain food system diversity and stability in the face of potential shocks. These recommendations are intended to guide decision-makers involved in national, regional and global debates on agricultural policy and research.

The Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP): The TAP partnership, which now has over 45 members,

was launched in Mexico in 2012 as a G20 Initiative.

  • Its goal is to strengthen agricultural innovation systems (AIS) in developing countries through coordinated multi-stakeholder interventions. 
  • Through collaboration among TAP’s network of experts, TAP has developed the Common Framework (CF) on Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS). 
  • The CF has been tested in 8 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America through the CDAIS Project, funded by the European Commission and jointly implemented by AGRINATURA and FAO in partnership with national governments and organisations. 

Valuable lessons have been learned. In particular, the CDAIS Project demonstrated that to successfully innovate together, stakeholders need technical as well as functional capacities, like the ability to link with others, negotiate, and engage in political processes. The project strengthened functional capacities of key actors of the AIS, emphasizing the important role of facilitation through national innovation facilitators who accompanied the entire capacity development process, starting from the identification of a common vision, problems to be overcome, and reflection and learning events as well as joint tracking of progress

(SE020) on Farmers driven innovation to boost food systems transformation toward global sustainable development: Innovative ways of involving farmers in research and policy debates