From the 26th – 27th May, QUNO held its first expert consultation on small-scale farmer innovation in biodiverse food systems. 16 professionals, including academics, development practitioners, civil society actors, small-scale farmers and UN officials, from 12 different countries (such as Peru, Zimbabwe, China and Sri Lanka) attended the consultation, which took place at the Château de Bossey near Geneva. For one participant, a Kenyan farmer-innovator, the trip represented his first time outside of Africa.
The consultation, similar in form to those QUNO has held for its agricultural trade and investment work strand, sought to move beyond QUNO’s traditional focus on intellectual property to get to the heart of on-farm innovation. What drives small-scale farmers to innovate? What can impede them? What role can public policy play in developing a supportive environment for such innovation? The discussion yielded a variety of proposals for potential ways forward, both for QUNO and the group as a whole.
The paper detailing the outcomes of this consultation can be found below.