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Meridian Institute

Innovation Gaps and Smallholder Farmers

Related: Agriculture and Food Systems, Science and Technology

-- Interview Report "Innovation Gaps and Smallholder Farmers: Opportunities for Action" is now available for download. --​

At the request of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Meridian Institute conducted 78 off-the-record interviews with thought leaders and practitioners from diverse sectors across the globe. The purpose of this effort was to help inform the foundation’s and the broader agricultural development community’s understanding of critical short- and long-term innovation gaps effecting smallholder farmers, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing innovation partners along the agricultural value chain.

Meridian used a broad definition of “innovation platforms” with interviewees—that is, the means to encourage, develop, and/or deliver innovations to smallholders—encouraging those interviewed to identify and discuss their thoughts about the most critical short- and long-term gaps, including areas such as: science and technology, policies, market access, information needs, and institutional and organizational interventions.

The interviewees had wide-ranging expertise in science, information technology, applied agricultural research, plant breeding, international development, agribusiness, food manufacturing and retailing, crop extension, youth engagement, national and international policy, and advocacy.

Meridian Institute summarized key themes and trends from the interviews in a report presented to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in April 2013. The report, Innovation Gaps and Smallholder Farmers: Opportunities for Action. A Report on Interviews with Global Thought Leaders and Practitioners, can be found under the Documents section on this page.

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