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9 crp pim scr

  1. 1. BIG IDEAS “Innovation Hubs” to empower smallholder farmers to improve their livelihoods S mallholder farmers are very often disadvantaged from the larger development process due to challenges of access – infrastructure, knowledge and market access – and consequently caught in a vicious cycle of low investment, low risk taking ability, low productivity and poor markets, and therefore low incomes. The opportunity lies in supporting and empowering the smallholder farmers through Innovation Hubs. This is a combination of ▪▪ ▪▪ Innovation Platforms which bring together players along the value chain to share issues and opportunities; and Incubation Hubs that assist and mentor entrepreneurs through new business investments, supporting them during the start-up highest risk phase. Science with a human face www.icrisat.org November 2013
  2. 2. How this works INNOVATION HUB Innovation Platforms Linking the private sector, government and communities for identifying business issues and opportunities Innovation Platforms bring together private sector, government and the community – each partner playing a complimentary role along the value chain. There is vested or shared vision for partnerships. Facilitating discussions through the innovation platform will assist to: ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ Link the farmers closer to the markets Identify market issues and opportunities Forge multi-disciplinary partnerships Develop business models/market linkages Identify evidence-based policy change support that is needed. Incubation Hubs complement and integrate with the innovation platforms as they assist with the implementation of business initiatives. They are a safety net at the highest risk, early set up phase of business development. This is important to help farmers manage risks and enable them to invest in new initiatives to grow and advance. The Incubation hub provides: ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ ▪▪ Customized market and business knowledge Assistance with access to inputs like technologies and credit Protection/risk management at a viable cost until scale is achieved Links to the value chain players Influencing required policies. Many of these support activities are provided through the network of the Innovation Platform as well as being customized and accessed through the Incubation Hub added expertise. This approach brings together two proven initiatives (Innovation Platforms and Incubation Hubs) in a new and complementary way. This is a powerful 2 A concept note for Ensuring nutritional security in rural India Incubation Hubs A safety net and support for new business initiatives combination of approaches that will significantly build the livelihoods of smallholder farmers with a much higher rate of success. Implementation The Innovation Hubs will initially be run as pilots in 25 hubs. Monitoring and evaluation will be carried out throughout gathering lessons learned, and ensuring that critical factors for success are adopted. Plans are for 100 hubs in year 2 and major scaling up to 1,100 hubs by year 5. ICRISAT’s role will be to: - - - - - facilitate the setting up of the Innovation Hubs; support with the running of these hubs; ensuring the community is empowered in the process; conduct monitoring and evaluation of the process and its effectiveness; and undertake research to support business initiatives and share scientific, market and policy knowledge and expertise. The Innovation Hubs will be self-sustaining through a combination of community ownership and private sector investments in a market-driven production approach. Involvement Support an Innovation Hub and the research behind it. Help grow these on a large scale. Contact Cynthia Bantilan, Director, Research Program on Markets, Institutions and Policies Email: c.bantilan@cgiar.org