KariaNet: Insights on knowledge sharing

June 03, 2016
Hoda Harb

KariaNet is a regional network improving knowledge-sharing on agriculture and rural development, to help the rural poor in the Middle East overcome poverty. KariaNet drew practitioners and farmers together in 10 countries in the region, equipping participants with new techniques to improve agricultural practices. Over the past two years, KariaNet tested three different methods: learning routes, learning alliances, and innovation contests.

The Learning Route was identified as the most successful approach and helped to spread experiences with farmer organizations in Morocco and with water management in Egypt.

Learning alliances aimed to scale-up best practices in production and marketing of high-value commodities to benefit small-scale farmers. Research identified various bottlenecks in the value chains for argan oil, dates, tomatoes, and artichokes. These issues are receiving further attention through Morocco’s Green Plan and International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA).

Finally, an innovation contest drew more than 70 entries highlighting novel technologies and techniques. However, it was less effective at reaching farmers who tend to learn better through hand-on experience.

This work was co-funded by IDRC and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Moving forward, KariaNet is expected to move to the American University of Beirut.

Read more about the success of the Learning Route approach.