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Science Technology and Innovation
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Tag: Science Technology and Innovation
'African Farmer': an online game about small-scale farming in Africa

'African Farmer' is a computer game which puts players directly into a farming community, exploring the challenges and choices of agriculture in Africa.

The game was developed by a team from the Future Agricultures Consortium and Sussex University as an educational tool for students and professionals. It was launched in April 2014.

The game's website is at

New IDS Bulletin Features FAC work on the Political Economy of Seed Systems in Africa's Green Revolution

As calls for a ‘Uniquely African Green Revolution' gain momentum, a focus on seeds and seed systems is rising up the agricultural policy agenda. Much of the debate stresses the technological or market dimensions, with substantial investments being made in seed improvement and the development of both public and private sector delivery systems. But this misses out the political economy of policy processes behind this agenda: whose interests are being served?

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FAC Contributes to International Conference on Sustainable Seed Systems in Ethiopia, 1-3 June 2011

FAC's Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Team co-sponsored an international conference on ‘Sustainable Seed Systems in Ethiopia: Challenges and Opportunities’ in Addis Ababa on 1-2 June 2011, co-hosted by the Ethiopian Institute for Agricultural Research (EIAR), in partnership with The Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Some 90 participants took part in the event, including senior officials from national and regional government, academics from national and regional universities, and professionals from international research and development organisations.

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Political Economy of Cereal Seed Systems in Africa Project

This project is exploring the political economy of cereal seed systems across five distinct country contexts (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana and Zimbabwe). Each country has a very different history of research and development in this area; in each setting the importance of the public or the private sector differs, with different actors and interests involved; each country has a different reliance on ‘modern’ hybrid (or sometimes biotech) varieties and associated R&D and supply systems; and each country has a different form and extent of independent informal sector, involving networks of farmer experimenters and seed bulkers and suppliers.

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Farmer Consultations on Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D)
In 2008, Future Agricultures Consortium with the Salzburg Global Seminar and theInstitute of Development Studies (IDS) helped to co-convene the initiative "Toward a 'Green Revolution' in Africa?" This initiative brought together many key stakeholders to discuss and debate what a uniquely green revolution for Africa might look like.

The issue of 'farmer voice' emerged from the conference.

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Science,Technology and Policy

Science and technology in agriculture are once again a focus for policy attention. Many argue that a way out of the

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National and Regional Panel Discussions

The objective is to elicit opinions on the state of the extension system and look forward to the future. It gives national and regional extension experts from government and NGOs, farmers and Development Agents, and private sector (e.g. investors in agriculture) to contribute to the national efforts to improve the system.

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Governing Technologies

Research is critical to the future of agricultural development in Africa. But what sort of research and for whom? In the past, inappropriate framings of problems and solutions have combined with limited field capacity and poorly functioning innovation systems. This has meant that the diverse livelihood pathways and agricultural technology demands of poor agriculturalists and pastoralists in Africa have often not been served by current arrangements for agricultural innovation. With the current policy debate about agricultural research and technology development so couched in "rational" technical and economic terms, there has been little scope to debate the wider social and political ramifications of new ways of organising, funding and governing agricultural research and development.