Participatory Action Research Project ‘Innovation’

This project was framed within a broader research project: “Renforcement des Partenariats dans la Recherche Agronomique au Cameroun – REPARAC” (Partnership building within agricultural research in Cameroon), which benefited from the technical and financial support of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs for four years (2005-2009). The REPARAC project was focusing on consolidating the organization and functioning of the Cameroonian Agricultural Research Institute for Development (IRAD) through setting partnerships between national and international actors involved in agricultural research. This project intended to enhance the scientific, technical and institutional capacities of IRAD through specific programmes aiming to establish sustainable and diversified production systems that integrate perennial crops, cash crops and food crops, and fostering agricultural innovation. In this regard, several participatory action research projects have been designed among which was the project “Innovation of farmers’ organization and small scale landholding”. From a participatory assessment of the needs of farmers, the project ‘Innovation’ promoted the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of activities aiming to improve agricultural productivity, weed control and pig farming, as well as building institutional capacities of farmers’ organizations in rural communities in southern regions of Cameroun. As a research assistant (2007-2009), I have been actively involved in connecting academics, researchers and farmers, implementing and supervising research operations, and in data gathering, analysis and reporting on a daily basis. As a whole the project ‘Innovation’ has contributed to the improvement of agricultural productivity and production (maize and soya) and pig farming, a better understanding of the dynamics of social and agrarian transformation, as well as of the perceptions of different actors about participatory action research.

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