Date: 8th-10thApril2024



Two decades of promoting farmer-led participatory innovation development for enhanced climate resilience, food and nutrition security, and sustainable natural resource management – How do we integrate the farmer-led joint research approach into institutions of agricultural research, development, and education?


The International Farmer Innovation Fair and Conference (IFIF&C) held in Nairobi, Kenya from April 8th to 10th, 2024, provided a platform for stakeholders to explore and discuss strategies for integrating farmer-led participatory innovation into agricultural research, development, and education institutions. The event, which featured a combination of physical and virtual components, including farmer innovation fairs, poster exhibitions, keynote speeches, and group discussions, aimed to showcase innovative approaches to addressing climate resilience, food security, and sustainable agriculture.

Poster Exhibition Highlights:

As the Country Representative of YPARD Kenya, I participated in the poster exhibition showcasing our participatory innovation by female farmers. Notable exhibits included Agnesa Bakery, led by Jenice Audi, which integrates pumpkin puree into baked products and airdries pumpkin seeds for direct consumption, enhancing nutritional value and fostering economic empowerment among young women engaged in pumpkin production. Additionally, Modesh Bakers led by Modesh specializes in quality organic baked goods such as cricket cookies and vegetable cakes, offering baking classes to disadvantaged urban youths.

Conference Overview:

The conference commenced with a scene-setting session on the history, approach, milestones, and opportunities of PROLINNOVA, setting the stage for discussions on participatory innovation development (PID). The farmer innovation fair showcased exhibitions from farmers across Kenya and ten other African countries, facilitating interactions and knowledge exchange. The second day focused on comparing perspectives on PID, with keynote presentations emphasizing the importance of gender in institutionalizing local innovation. Panel discussions addressed The recognition and support of farmer innovation and The integration of farmer-led joint research into formal agricultural research and development (ARD).

Key Insights and Discussions:

During the panel discussions, I posed a question regarding the sustainability of innovations showcased by older farmer innovators. The discussions emphasized the need for mechanisms to ensure the continuation and scaling of successful innovations. The third day featured virtual exhibitions from PROLINNOVA country platforms in Nepal and the Philippines, along with discussions on networking, financing locally led adaptation, and cross-learning on agroecology practices. The event concluded with the adoption of the 'Nairobi Declaration,' outlining commitments to promoting farmer-led research and sustainable agriculture.


The IFIF&C provided a valuable platform for stakeholders to exchange knowledge, share experiences, and explore collaborative solutions to pressing challenges in agriculture. Moving forward, it is essential to prioritize the integration of farmer-led joint research approaches into formal ARD institutions, ensuring the sustainability and scalability of innovative solutions for enhanced climate resilience, food security, and sustainable natural resource management.

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