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ASARECA: Working with NARS to Build Capacity for Agricultural Innovation Systems in Eastern and Central Africa L. Dusengemungu (RAB), J. Methu & D. Akishule (ASARECA) Emails: , , INTRODUCTION

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ASARECA: Working with NARS to Build Capacity for Agricultural Innovation Systems in Eastern and Central Africa L. Dusengemungu (RAB), J. Methu & D. Akishule (ASARECA)Emails:,,


Since 2008, ASARECA has embraced the Agricultural Innovation Systems’ approach (AIS) as a strategy for enhancing the up take of technologies for agricultural research and development in Eastern and Central Africa.

ASARECA also supports research in the sub-region through a competitive grants system and all supported projects are expected to demonstrate the incorporation of AIS principles in their activities.

In addition, ASARECA strives to build the capacities of NARS through different initiatives which include graduate training, short courses, capacity buidling on leadership and management, mentoring, infrastructural support and innovation platforms’ establishement.

Joint discussion, action, sharing and learning

During a training session


Improving markets for potatoes farmersthrough small innovations/Rwanda-NAKUMATT-KIGALI

Taking tissue culture technologies to farmers in Northern Province/Rwanda



Innovation platform process

The process of establishing an Innovation Platform (IP) involvesmeeting with district leaders and few stakeholders to introduce the AIS approach, meetings with key partners in a commodity value-chain at district level for stakeholders’mapping, needs assessment , focus, development and implementation of action plan, launching of the IP and committee set-up, consultation meetings, monitoring and evaluation of planned activities.

  • Over 200 researchers and development stakeholders have been trained on the AIS approach while over 80% of ASARECA supported projects have adopted AIS principles.
  • Some of the beneficiaries of this capacity building initiative have helped to set up innovation platforms (IPs) in their countries. The 1st author in this poster has initiated the development of about 10innovation platforms which are benefiting 1587 individuals in different value-chains in Rwanda.
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Limited number of researchers skilled in integrated approaches to development such as AIS in in the sub-region

1. The AIS approach requires the participation of a wide range of stakeholders and their commitment to actively participate.

2. Operationalising of the innovation platform requires establishment of functional and strong linkages where all actors’ interests are taken into consideration. With its roots in innovation systems theory, the innovation Platform is a good vehicle for implementation of the AIS concept.

3. Activities call for a good number of social scientists able to lead the social components of AIS approach in the continent.

4. Scaling out successful technologies can be done by any championing development project, be it public, private or NGO.