Developing Resilient Farming Systems through Supporting Farmer Driven On-Farm Innovation
About the Project
This project will develop a guide to assist in establishing a Farmer Innovation Platform (InP) for the Grower Group network. One group will be selected to participate in several workshop sessions to develop a 'step by step methodology' for establishing an InP and identifying priorities and strategies for developing on-farm innovations appropriate to group needs and opportunities. This information will then be summarised and included in the guide as the base to further develop resilient farming systems and businesses.
The project methodology will adopt the principles of Innovation Platform Systems, including:
- shared learning and change, creating social networks of innovators
- supporting participants having multiple roles - active partners, innovators and entrepreneurs
- building innovation capacity, skills and capabilities to lead, innovate, change and adopt.
- Development of the publication/information resource “A Guide to Establishing Farmer Innovation Platforms” as a recognised methodology for establishing on-farm Innovation Platforms
- Provide the catalyst to develop practical on-farm innovations by farmers that offer novel and innovative approaches to addressing a range of production and management constraints and opportunities
- Develop an Innovation Platform model characterised by stronger and inclusive networks of stakeholders, improved relationships, willingness to share information and knowledge, and improved research and extension collaboration
- The Innovation Platform stakeholders and networks are identified (including their respective roles, level of influence and opportunity to build relationships and engagement)
- Innovation opportunities are identified, through a group needs analysis and opportunity assessment that will also examine potential barriers and constraints associated with innovation opportunities
- On-farm innovation processes are defined. Workshop sessions will be used to help identify how on-farm innovations are identified and developed
- An Innovation Pathways Action Plan will be developed for the InP group, setting about specific actions (incorporating activities, timelines, roles and responsibilities
- Review of InP pilot project. A mini-review at the conclusion of the programmed activities will be conducted amongst participants to gather feedback and identify opportunities to enhance the methodologies developed
- A Guide to Establishing Farmer Innovation Platforms” will be produced.
How is an Innovation Platform different to an existing Farming Systems Group
- provides a process that supports the identification, development and support in the adoption of new technologies and farming practices.
- aims to identify the needs and opportunities to increase sustainable productivity and profitability within a local farming systems context from the “ground up” as opposed to a “top down” approach.
- actively engages all stakeholders who actively work with farmers from along the agricultural value chain, as a means of encouraging greater sharing of information, ideas and knowledge.
- is designed to focus on both existing and new farmer innovations, that otherwise may not be considered due to a range of perceived constraints (including barriers to adoption).