ICARDA collaborates with a diverse set of partners, farmers and stakeholders with common goals to ensure that the knowledge and technologies generated are field-tested, tailored to a real-world setting, widely available, and versatile enough for global scaling.
Experience suggests that smallholder farmers are unlikely to adopt new innovations without improved models of technology transfer. ICARDA is working on the design of innovative and cost-effective technology-transfer strategies and carefully analyzing and managing the implementation of current approaches.
This approach to the scaling up of proven technologies involves strategic partnerships with: advanced research institutions, private sector actors, NGOs, development agencies, farmer organizations and financial institutions. We facilitate dialogue through 'innovation platforms' – a conduit for networking and knowledge sharing – to ensure that innovations get into the hands of farmers. We also regularly engage decision-makers to encourage them to create a conducive enabling environment.
The integration of new climate-smart technologies into the curricula of agricultural universities and national training programs assures their sustainable adoption.
We also develop new and innovative business models to ensure the delivery of superior genetic resources to farmers' fields, and support private sector seed and livestock companies to enact the production, delivery, and nurturing of seed and small ruminants.
‘Mind the Gap’
ICARDA’s ‘Mind the Gap’ initiative in Tunisia seeks to understand which extension approaches have the greatest success rate – helping to inform decision making processes and improve the dissemination of new innovations. The project compares different extension methods and evaluates impacts on technology adoption rates and household livelihoods. In addition to agricultural training, extension approaches include business training for farmers and improved access to market information.