PANEL: How to make Agricultural Research more Pro Poor
Rural Livelihoods Department, DFID.
Pro Poor Agric. Research - Whose priority?
• Recipient countries often prioritise production not poverty.
Pro poor research or poverty reduction – are they the same?
• Participation of poor farmers may not be enough to meet the MDGs
• Rural growth or eliminating hunger?
Pro poor - Who and where are the poor?
• Are economic definitions enough? PPAs and “contextual” poverty
assessments – Livelihood Approaches to assets (human, social etc.)
• Importance of vulnerability – landless, aged, women headed
households, ethnic groups, fisher folk, refugees, pastoralists etc.
• Feminisation of poverty – migration and access of FHH to credit,
labour, extension etc.
• Rural v urban poverty and inequality – changing dynamics and needs?
• Rural poor often living in very marginal areas – productivity and
What is pro poor agricultural research?
• Technology development or more – the poor often prioritise issues of
and policy above technology.
• Low technology/adaptive research versus the role of high science?
• Taking a livelihoods approach – placing agricultural research in
context; livelihood diversification, credit, land tenure, gender, labour,
health and education, social networks and access, policies and
• Is it enough to be of potential relevance or should it preferentially
advantage the poor?
• Does increasing productivity of pro poor production systems increase
resource capture by the rich – eg Common Property resources?
• Priorities and governance – who defines the priorities for pro-poor
research? How do researchers effectively engage poor households?
Can existing systems deliver?
• Are public systems effective for knowledge management and transfer
effective – structures, linearity and accountability (upward or
• Have we got effective dissemination?
• Incentives – What incentives are there for public or private sector
research to focus on/prioritise the poor or for public sector to link with
private research or service delivery?
• What is the role of government - enabling environment or service
• Who are the clients – Bias to medium/larger farmers and gender
• The role of the north – priorities, co-ordination, resources capture,
• The role of new paradigms – competitive funds, private-public
partnerships, decentralisation of demand and resources.
• Institutional effectiveness – Bilaterals, CG system, regional networks
• Transaction costs of participation
• Balancing local immediate need with longer term and macro
(national/transboundary) issues; climate change, GMOs, environmental
degradation, access to resources particularly land and water.