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Tropentag, September 15 - 17, 2021, hybrid conference

"Towards shifting paradigms in agriculture for a healthy and sustainable future"


Innovation Promotion as a Focus of German Development Cooperation

Sebastian Lesch

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Sustainable agricultural supply chains, international agricultural policy, agriculture, innovation (122), Germany


Abstract


Developing innovative approaches is important, but not sufficient to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. To generate impact, roll-out of innovative approaches needs to be improved for innovations to be put into use.

BMZ supports research, impact-oriented innovation promotion and scaling of innovative approaches in various ways.

BMZ has been a strong supporter of the ongoing reform of the global research partnership CGIAR, which strives for more impact orientation in international agricultural research. The new “One CGIAR” research initiatives, starting from January 2022, are designed to contribute to five impact areas for more sustainable and resilient food, land, and water systems, and meet SDG targets. Germany provides strategic advice and support in priority setting for a coherent research portfolio, robust M&E systems and rigorous impact assessments. BMZ funding modality shifts from bilateral to pooled funding for „One CGIAR“ research initiatives. Germany encourages research institutions not being part of “One CGIAR” to actively engage and participate as co-developers in the design and then implementation of the initiatives. Integrated experts associated in a Task Force on Scaling advise and support outreach and impact at broader scale.

A particularly agile tool for the promotion of innovations is the newly established “Fund for the Promotion of Innovation in Agriculture (i4Ag)”. The fund allows for flexible promotion of user-centreed and sustainable innovations at different maturity levels. In order to ensure developmental benefits, i4Ag promotes innovations that have broad and positive impacts on income generation, food security, resource conservation and climate resilience, with a particular focus on women and youth. To achieve this, i4Ag is working through innovation partnerships with private and public organisations that promote ownership and provide the basis for further up-scaling.

Innovations depend on ideas and resources. Therefore, funding genebanks is a valuable complementary investment in the context of innovation promotion: they conserve the genetic base of critical crop diversity needed to improve yield, nutrition and resistance to pests and diseases. Germany has been funding the Global Crop Diversity Trust and genebanks over a long period of time. Currently, BMZ is supporting the Crop Trust with identifying possibilities to improve operations with a view to more sustainable impact generation.


Keywords: Agricultural research, impact-orientation, innovation promotion, scaling


Contact Address: Sebastian Lesch, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Sustainable agricultural supply chains, international agricultural policy, agriculture, innovation (122), Stresemannstraße 94, 10963 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: sebastian.lesch@bmz.bund.de


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