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Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes

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2015-02-02 20:29:50
2015-02-02 20:29:50
2015-02-02 20:29:50
2015-02-02 20:29:50

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Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes

Adaptive Research, Outreach and Partnerships 

The innovation system perspective incorporates CARI‘s and the MOA‘s concerns with impact. A discovery becomes an innovation when it is put into practice and there is new technology, new mode of organization, new market or new product. A multitude of studies have demonstrated that business-as-usual will not lead to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Business unusual requires a package of interventions including infrastructure, information, markets and policies.  

The innovation system approach emphasizes the importance of learning processes, clusters of people and institutions to facilitate sharing of knowledge the development of feedback loops all along the production-to-consumption chain. The term ―technology transfer‖ has become unfairly associated with the ―outmoded linear research-to-extension-to-farmer model‖.  

However, every major research university and research laboratory in the developed world has a ―technology transfer office‖ dealing with issues of intellectual property and the commercialization of discovery. The principle is that technology transfer begins with design of the research protocol. Every project carried out at CARI must answer the question ―Who is willing to pay for or adopt the expected output of this research?‖ The second question is whether the cluster of people and institutions needed to achieve the result exists or needs to be created. 

In Liberia and the rest of the continent, the shift in attention by commodity research from field productivity to post harvest processing quality and market demand introduces a new cluster of stakeholders to which research must respond. The value added in post-harvest processing and marketing may be several multiples of the value of the primary product at the farm gate (which explains why developed countries protect their agriculture: whereas 3% of the GDP may be primary production, another 50% may be value added in processing, trading, retailing and serving agricultural products of guaranteed quality. Decentralized and privatized agricultural advisory services often engage in ―enterprise development‖ without adequate backstopping from research. Researchers may proceed without linking their work with the needs of agricultural enterprise. The problems are both structural and behavioral. 

The effectiveness of agricultural research is dependent on adequate uptake and up-scaling of the research products and innovations. 

However, the level of uptake of available products and innovations is low. This has contributed to lower national food supplies against the demanded quantities. It is further recognized that the potential of current and future research capacity will not be fully exploited due to lack of comprehensive approach for dissemination of research findings, coupled with weak researchextension linkages. Establishment of the Outreach Programme to disseminate agricultural technology in CARI to link with extension service providers is proposed (Public, private and NGOs) is one of the key aspect of this strategy.  

The importance of forging and strengthening partnerships with other actors such as NGOs and farmer groups, associations, farmer cooperatives and private farmers is stressed. The establishment of an Agricultural Information Resource Centre and Agricultural Training Centres across the country provides further opportunities for awareness creation to catalyze uptake and promote partnerships. 

The main objective of the initiative is to empower farmers to demand and articulate their technology needs to service providers and to empower service providers to respond to these demands. In the process, researchers are expected to obtain feedback for use in designing appropriate research projects and effort to shift from a researcher- driven research agenda to a user demand-driven research agenda. The process will create new partnerships and strengthened existing ones as well as opportunities for feedback into the CARI research agenda, thus responding to a demand-driven and client-oriented research.  

The feedback obtained from the researcher-farmer interaction as well as new findings from the various research programmes will provide material for adaptive research. The adaptive research, outreach and partnerships thematic area aims to jointly adapt technologies to the users‘ environments, promote and catalyze their uptake in partnership with diverse actors in the agricultural product value chains. 

The Adaptive Research, Outreach and Partnerships thematic area of research will be expected to contribute to the attainment of the overall institutional purpose through the attainment of its purpose of generating and promoting adaptive, up-scaling and partnerships knowledge, information and technologies that respond to clients’ demands and opportunities. This purpose will be delivered through the attainment of the following five results:  

1. Technologies and innovations for enhancing demand-driven agricultural product value chains adapted, up-scaled and beneficial partnerships established and operationalized;

2. Markets and marketing strategies for demand-driven agricultural product value chains adapted, up-scaled and beneficial partnerships established and operationalized;

3. Policy options for supporting adaptation, up-scaling and partnerships management for demand-driven agricultural product value chains facilitated and advocated;

4. Capacity for adapting, up-scaling and managing partnerships for demand-driven agricultural product value chains strengthened;

5. Availability of knowledge, information and technologies on adaptation, up-scaling and partnerships management for demand-driven agricultural product value chains enhanced.

In order to deliver on the expected results, the Adaptive Research, Outreach and Partnerships thematic area will be structured into three research component in the larger programme as outlined below.  

Each of the research following components will be expected to contribute to the attainment of the five thematic area results. 1. Promotion of adaptation of demand-driven agricultural product value chains;

2. Promotion of up-scaling of demand-driven agricultural product value chains; 

3. Establishment and operationalization of strategic and beneficial partnerships

Operationalization of strategic and beneficial partnership will be central to the success of agriculture research in Liberia. This is because behind every great agricultural innovation, there are researchers dedicated to helping Liberia to achieve food security. One of the challenges facing Liberia is to create a robust research community to develop new and innovative approaches to food security. The CARI Research Strategy presents a national research portfolio to create more productive and animals, sustainably intensify agricultural production systems, ensure food security, and enhance access to nutritionally improved diets.  

A central component of this strategy is the creation of Innovation platforms in collaboration with higher learning institutions in Liberia. These high institutions including universities will partner and work with CARI researchers and other partners, to conduct targeted research that will have a direct impact on local, national and regional food security. These partnerships will ensure that the latest agricultural innovations successfully move from research to practice.

Corporate Research Support Functions and Services 

4.1. The Rationale and Justification  

CARI as a public research institute will continue to conduct agricultural research of strategic national importance and produce national public goods in the form of knowledge, information  and technologies. CARI will also, together with its partners, continue to contribute to regional and international public goods. Besides its core functions of research it also has non-research or research support functions and services which demands it to develop capacity to address growth in the two core functions. Successful implementation of the five thematic areas of research outlined in chapter four will depend largely on the effectiveness and efficiency of the institutional corporate research support functions and services. This chapter focuses on the institutional capacities and competences that are required to implement the priority activities to be identified under the IAR4D system.  

4.2. Challenges and Constraints  

The institutional capacity of an institution includes its infrastructure, human and financial instruments which help it to make a difference. Competence, however, goes one step further and describes the demonstrated capacity of an institution to perform a task. The required capacities and competences will emanate from CARI and her collaborating and development partners. The capacities focus on the human, financial and physical resources and the institutional arrangements that will be required to adequately address the issues highlighted under the research thematic areas.  

To achieve the overall development impact, CARI will develop appropriate strategies to address the following challenges:  

(i) Development of a performance management system and culture in which motivates and retains high calibre staff; 

(ii) Moulding a ‗self-regulating‘ impact-oriented system and culture where outcomes and impacts are continuously monitored, evaluated and adapted with regard to set priorities; 

(iii) Promoting factors that enhance the welfare of CARI‘s human resource including mitigation of the impact of HIV/AIDS. 

(iv)  Increasing the sources of sustainable funding and financing mechanisms coupled with an efficient management of funds within the framework of Agricultural Product Value Chain within CARI; 

(v) Influencing formulation of appropriate policies and legal frameworks to facilitate the integration of Agricultural Product Value Chain approach with agricultural and natural resource research for development‘ 

(vi) Development and strengthening of inter- and multidisciplinary approach to Agriculture Research for Development(AR4D) and facilitation of the establishment of an effective research and outreach program in Liberia 

(vii) Identification of factors and processes that facilitate the rationalization of human, financial and physical resources and infrastructure available in CARI and her local, regional and international partners to effectively implement the priorities including a cutting-edge information and knowledge management system aimed at reducing duplication; 

(viii) Development and operationalization of suitable mechanisms for generating and translating an effective research demand from the different perspectives into jointly agreed priority areas in AR4D to be implemented; 

(ix) Spearheading the process of identifying suitable framework and arrangements that will enable effective functioning and developing functional processes and mechanisms. 

4.3. Strategic Focus  

Like the thematic areas of research discussed in chapter three, the institutional corporate research support functions and services will be expected to contribute to the attainment of the overall institutional purpose through the attainment of its purpose of contributing to the generation and promotion of agricultural knowledge, information and technologies that respond to clients‘ demands and opportunities. This purpose for the institutional corporate support functions and services will be delivered through the attainment of the following five results: (i) Institutional corporate support functions and services contribution to the generation and promotion of technologies and innovations for demand-driven agricultural product value chains strengthened; 

(ii)  Institutional corporate support functions and services contribution to the development and promotion of markets and marketing strategies for agricultural product value chains strengthened; 

(iii) Institutional corporate support functions and services contribution to the formulation of policy options for enhancing demand-driven agricultural product value chains facilitated and advocated; 

(iv)  Institutional corporate support functions and services capacity for implementing integrated agricultural product value chains research strengthened. 

(v) Availability of institutional corporate support functions and services knowledge, information and technologies on agricultural product value chains research enhanced. 

In order to contribute significantly to the attainment of the institutional purpose, the institutional corporate support functions and services shall be structured into the following eight Units under the department of Finance and Administration. Each of Unit will be expected to contribute to the attainment of the five corporate support functions and services results. 

The Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) located at Suakoko, some 180 km north‐west of Monrovia was created in 1980 from the Central Agricultural Experiment Station (CARES) to conduct both adaptive and applied research in agriculture.Read more

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