Review and Planning for SRFSI

Over 50 project stakeholders joined a recent meeting in Kathmandu, which focused on identifying key learnings from SRFSI partners on a range of topics including value chains, business models, extension, capacity building, Innovation Platforms and policy convergence. After many years of project activities, there was plenty of vibrant and engaged discussion, and participants did an excellent job of communicating the highlights succinctly.

The cross-cutting themes of gender and climate change were considered within each topic, to capture project outputs beyond participation and farm level impact.

Discussions around gender confirmed the benefits of targeted women’s participation and ensuring that women’s availability was catered to, to ensure higher participation rates. Work within SRFSI has identified new business opportunities for women, with benefits for individuals and wider community groups. In terms of business models, it was highlighted that promoting gender inclusive strategies for all partners including the private sector is necessary. Ensuring a wide range of partnership institutions, for example NGOs with women-centric programs is also beneficial for reaching more women.

CASI techniques have been confirmed as contributing to climate resilient farming systems, both in terms of mitigation and adaptation. Importantly, the project has demonstrated that these systems can also be profitable, climate smart business models. They were also seen as fitting well with government plans and policies as options to address climate change; this is demonstrated by convergence with country and NGO programs that are focused on climate change adaptation.

In keeping with the recently approved no-cost extension to the SRFSI project until June 2020, the final sessions identified remaining research questions in each location, and project partners nominated potential small research activities to fill these gaps. The final year of SRFSI is an excellent opportunity to capture valuable lessons and synthesise project outputs for maximum impact.

For more information, please contact Dr TP Tiwari (t.tiwari@cgiar.org).

NewsTamara Jackson