About Innovation Platform Agribusiness Portal (IPAbP)

The agricultural Innovation platform has gained popularity as an effective partnership framework to ensure that agricultural technologies are translated into measurable impact in livelihood and quality of life of farmers as well as other stakeholders. The Innovation platform was initially developed as the operational framework for the implementation of the Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) concept. The IAR4D concept, developed by FARA, has assembled guidelines to overcome the shortcomings of the linear approaches for implementing agricultural research and development. The concept appraises agriculture as a system and recognizes the several implicit sub-systems that must work together to foster the development of the sector. Thus, IAR4D engages all actors, organizations and institutions that are involved in the agricultural sector to interact and jointly foster the development of the sector. IAR4D uses both the system and the commodity approach, and engages all actors along the commodity value chain, including external actors such as policy makers, financial institutions, meteorologists, insurance providers, etc. that influence the chain to interact and proffer solutions to the jointly identified constraints on the platform.

The IP is a forum for groups of relevant actors selected along the value chain of a specific commodity or system of production. The actors include farmers, researchers, extension agents, traders, processors, financial institutions, policy makers, regulators, output market operators, consumers and others. They interact to jointly identify problems, investigate solutions leading to the generation of innovations and its accompanying socio-economic benefits. The IP essentially works in a commercial mode as it facilitates public-private partnerships. Essentially, activities on the IP are guided by a well-articulated business plan.

Following the proof of the IAR4D concept, the IP concept has enjoyed good acceptance by the agricultural research and development fraternity in Africa. This has led to the wide use and establishment of different variants of multi-stakeholders’ groups and innovation platforms. Efforts to scale-up and scale-out the IAR4D/IP concept will necessarily require a coordination platform to guide the scaling, to ensure adherence to principles that trigger the delivery of results during the IP formation, establishment and operation; to, prevent duplication of efforts by projects and development partners interventions; to stimulate synergy, joint learning, to facilitate big business development through linkages between producers, commodities and end users, and create data source and analytics on the growth of innovation platforms in Africa.

The Innovation Platform Agribusiness Portal (IPAbP) was developed as part of the activities of the Program of Accompanying Research for Agricultural Innovation (PARI), a collaborative project of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), and the Centre for Development Research (ZEF), with funding support from the Government of Germany. The IPAbP is a web information repository with the goal of aggregating information for all the Innovation Platforms in Africa to foster linkages with other agricultural innovation organizations, donors and development partners; to facilitate access to information on platforms to enhance collaboration and develop big businesses.

The IPAbP gives the different IP facilitators a platform to demonstrate their Innovations and other products to a wider audience. With this, an IP can broaden its business horizon without restriction and link-up with potential agricultural bodies, donor organizations, find possible solutions to market access and establish direct contacts with policy makers to influence the growth and development of the agriculture sector in Africa.

Through its analytics component, it further provides development partners, policy makers and agriculture stakeholders with an avenue to directly source data on availability and veracity of all Innovation Platforms on the continent.

The IPAbP is a first of its kind and an innovation of FARA and ZEF within the PARI project. The IPAbP is expected to foster the scaling of the IP concept in Africa. It is essential to the platform as well as to the growth and expansion of all Innovation Platforms in Africa.

To this end, IP facilitators from all over Africa are encouraged to sign up and showcase to the world the innovations their IPs are offering to enhance the development of the agriculture sector in Africa.


Center for Development Research (ZEF) logo
Center for Development Research (ZEF)

The Center for Development Research (ZEF) is an institute of the University of Bonn, Germany. It started its research activities in 1997. ZEF's researchers aim to find science-based solutions to development-related issues. ZEF’s research departments on Economic and Technological Change, Political and Cultural Change, and Ecology and Natural Resources Management conduct inter- and trans-disciplinary research in, for and with emerging economies and on global issues with its collaborating research partners around the world. ZEF educates doctoral students from all over the world in its Doctoral Studies Program. ZEF is guided by an International Advisory Board.

ZEF maintains an active dialogue with representatives from governmental and non-governmental bodies, as well as with national and international organizations for science and development cooperation and with the private and business sectors. ZEF is financed by public funds, but acquires most of its funding (80% of its budget) on the competitive market for research funds. ZEF's main funders are the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, the DAAD, the Robert Bosch Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation fiat panis, Thyssen Foundation, Bayer AG, Volkswagen Foundation, the Dreyer Foundation, Union Investment, and many more organizations as well as various governments through support to some of our doctoral students.

Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) logo
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)

The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is the apex continental organization responsible for coordinating and advocating for Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D). FARA serves as the technical arm of the Africa Union Commission on matters concerning agriculture science, technology and innovation.

FARA was conceived in the late 1990s by a core group of committed champions, including both African scientists and enlightened donor aid officials, who believed in agriculture’s potential to lift the continent from poverty, yet realized that this would only be achieved if the continent’s weak and fragmented agricultural research systems could somehow be brought together and strengthened under a common banner. FARA was then voted into existence in 1997 by the Sub-Regional Organizations, including CORAF/WECARD, ASARECA and SADC-FANR, at the 17th Plenary of the Special Programme for African Agricultural Research (SPAAR), a precursor organization to FARA, situated within the World Bank.

FARA serves as the entry point for agricultural research initiatives designed to have a continental reach or a sub-continental reach spanning more than one sub-region. Headquartered in Accra, Ghana, FARA has been in existence for 12 years. Over this period, FARA has provided a continental forum for stakeholders in AR4D to shape the vision and agenda for this sub-sector, and to mobilize themselves to respond to key continent-wide development frameworks, notably the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)

FARA also plays a key role in galvanizing the agricultural research for development sector, and brings a strong African voice to global forums such as the G-8 and the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR).