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Harnessing ICTs to scale-up agricultural innovations

Agricultural research organizations, governments, and civil society are increasingly looking at how to successfully scale up agriculture and food security innovations to bring more lasting benefits to more people. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play an important role in greater uptake of innovations: communication tools, methods, and approaches can help create interaction between partners, share information about the innovation to potential beneficiaries, and distribute materials, services, and products related to various innovations.

IDRC’s Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) and Cultivating Africa’s Future (CultiAF) programs share a commitment to scaling up agriculture and food security innovations, some of which are using ICTs. This particular project will investigate how ICTs can enable the scaling up of innovations and good practices using meta-analysis and case studies of CIFSRF, CultiAF, and other agriculture and food security projects. It will then develop and test a framework for analyzing and presenting ICT-for-scale initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa.

Outcomes will include: a framework and tested working models for how to implement ICT-for-scale that consider partnerships, business models, gender, types of innovations, and institutional, social, and political contexts. They will include recommendations for future use of ICTs to bring innovations to scale in agricultural and food security projects. It will also share the project’s lessons and research findings across a diverse set of stakeholders, including donors, NGOs, researchers, and private businesses both in Canada and internationally in order to broaden the use of ICT-for-scale. It is anticipated that at the end of the project, at least 125 organizations will have a greater awareness and understanding of how ICTs can improve the scaling-up of agricultural innovations.

This research project will be led by Farm Radio Trust in Malawi and Farm Radio International in Canada, working in collaboration with other organizations based in Africa.

The Cultivate Africa’s Future Fund (CultiAF) is a joint program of the Australian International Food Security Research Centre of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and IDRC. CultiAF supports research to achieve long-term food security in Eastern and Southern Africa.

The Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF) is a program of IDRC undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through Global Affairs Canada.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
30 months
IDRC Officer
Wendy Manchur
Total Funding
CA$ 701,750.00
South of Sahara
Agriculture and Food Security
Agriculture and Food Security
Institution Country
Project Leader
Mark Leclair
Farm Radio International/Radios Rurales Internationales
Institution Country
Project Leader
Rex Chapota
Farm Radio Trust