Creating complementarities and synergies and harmonizing approaches were the key takeaways from the meeting of the GLDC’s Flagship Program 3 on Integrated farm and household management held in Nairobi, Kenya on 1-2 October.
Sixteen scientists from IITA, SLU, IRD-CIRAD, ICRISAT, WUR, ICARDA, and ICRAF brainstormed on ways to strengthen the technical program, create complementarities and synergies within the flagship and map projects and plan activities for 2019, while at the same time visioning key products and messages from the FP’s work.
The meeting started with an overview of the CGIAR Research Program and FP3 by the FP leader followed by presentations by CoA leaders. Group work was organized around cluster of activities (CoAs) to reflect on how activities can be grouped into 2-3 main ones for more coherence to demonstrate the integrated nature of the flagship.
To encourage synergies and allow cross site/activity analysis to draw lessons that will help in scaling up/out, each of the CoAs brainstormed on harmonization of methods and tools used for similar studies taken up by different centers or regions. For example, it was possible to integrate ICARDA’s activities on sustainability indicators/assessments together with ICRISAT, WUR and SLU activities, and technology impact assessment with ICRAF’s activity.
Each CoA revised its portfolio of activities and proposed adjustments for 2019. In most cases, very few changes are expected in 2019. This exercise also provided a unique opportunity for the FP3 activity leaders to discuss and plan their activities integratively across the three regions of Eastern and Southern Africa, West and Central Africa and South Asia.
This first face-to-face meeting of activity leaders also discussed ways of co-locating activities to serve the multiple needs of farmers which one technology/innovation alone might not solve. Therefore, it was suggested to provide a basket of options which is likely to meet the farmers’ demands, while addressing issues at community and landscape scales through appropriate integrated farming systems.