In the recent years, there have been calls for well steered research for development (R4D) for improved farmers’ livelihoods. At the same time, the need for sustainable resource use is imperative now more than ever, considering the rampant environmental degradation and the effects of global warming. Agricultural systems comprise of different components which interact and operate within a specific boundary to achieve certain objectives of the beneficiaries of the system. As such, the uptake of interventions in agricultural systems aimed at improved production depends on various factors within the system.
Scientists working in the Livestock Systems and Environment Program in collaboration with scientist from other CGIAR centres recently published a working paper which provides for a framework for targeting and scaling-out interventions in agricultural systems.
This paper provides generic guidelines for evaluating and prioritizing potential interventions through an iterative process of mapping out recommendation domains and estimating impacts. This is with the hope to contribute to the inclusion of such important considerations when agricultural innovations are targeted and scaled out.
A sequel of past ILRI work
The framework has been built on past targeting work at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) notably:
This book on ‘Mapping poverty and livestock in the developing world’;
This study on ‘The impacts of group ranch subdivision on agro-pastoral households’;
A study on ‘Classifying livestock production systems for targeting agricultural research and development in a rapidly changing world’
A study on the ‘Investment options for integrating water management and crop and livestock production in sub-Saharan Africa’ and
A manual on ‘integrated modelling platform for animal crop systems’.
Based on this, the framework proposed in this paper is designed among other uses for: Priority setting of intervention packages and policies as well as understanding the out-scaling potential of different packages of interventions. The framework provides for several steps to be taken with an objective of helping people to think beyond the animal scale, beyond productivity gains, and beyond a static analysis. This is in the view of the fact that evaluation of interventions in agricultural systems deals with several issues which practitioners should consider.