Knowledge Transfer and Innovation

Working Group on Knowledge Transfer and Innovation

Lead: Larry O’Loughlin

Area of Interest

Agricultural development is central to the realisation of Agenda 2030 and the sustainable development goals. The implementation of good farming practices based on knowledge as a result of agricultural research in sub-Sahara Africa has real potential to significantly increase agricultural output across the region in Africa generally, in South America and in parts of Asia. Agricultural development aims at improving the livelihood of farm families in rural areas across the developing world. The implementation of effective extension services can and will make a major contribution to these efforts. While people and organisations will have different views of extension – ranging from a vehicle for transferring modern technology from research to farmers to a strategy for broad based participatory farm and community development, the real object is to support farming families in making the best possible use of the resources at their disposal. The Irish Potato Coalition is an excellent example of a programme involving many Irish NGO’S (see below) aimed at improving the livelihoods, food and nutrition security of one million rural poor households in sub Saharan Africa through increased productivity and sustainability of potato value chains, with a particular focus on small holders, women and vulnerable groups. One of its main aims is to improve the quality of knowledge transfer within the programme.  

Relevance to the Forum

The topic Knowledge Transfer is relevant to the work of the forum as it addresses all the challenges raised in:
  1. Vision “transforming livelihoods of the poor in the developing world – by    supporting sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition security”.
  2. Mission “share experience, knowledge and innovation in agriculture for development”
  3. Objectives “particular emphasis on small holder farmers and promote impact oriented and needs driven application on farms”

Purpose of the Group

To examine and agree key action points with a view to implementing cost effective extension services involving relevant organisations within the Irish Forum (I.F.I.A.D.) and in partnership with existing organisations and structures at national and regional level in sub Saharan Africa.


Initially, membership of this working group would consist of interested organisations and individuals who are already affiliated to  I.F.I.A.D.  In particular, organisations with a track record  of running/assisting extension programmes either in Ireland or in sub Saharan Africa such as Teagasc, VITA, Gorta Self Help, Concern, Trocaire and Irish Aid. The Department of Agriculture, Sustainable Food Systems, Third Level Institutions, Private Organisations and individuals may also wish to be involved.

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