The Innovation Platform (InP) has become an attractive approach for supporting agricultural development. An InP is generally established to foster interaction amongst a wide range of stakeholders including producers, researchers, development practitioners and policy-makers, around a shared interest. The stakeholders interact to jointly identify problems and opportunities, seek and apply solutions and learn to stimulate continuous innovation. However, establishment and management are complicated given the multiplicity of actors with diverse objectives and expectations. This article describes how an InP in western Kenya contributed to increased control of banana Xanthomonas wilt (BXW). Several demonstrations were set up to show farmers how the control technologies worked. After couple of months, they told their neighbours about it and this helped in the scaling up of the programme. To enhance access to knowledge and information on BXW control best practices and technologies, additional InPs were formed and used to reach over 6,000 banana farmers.
Markets for banana and tropical fruits underwent impressive expansions in the past few decades on the back of sustained global economic growth. This paper examines how the recent recession has affected, and given the lag in recovery, how it might shape banana and tropical fruit markets in the near future. The analysis was based only on fresh fruits and did not include processed products. Therefore, the implications on development policies and strategies, relate only to the fresh fruit segment of the markets, and not the processed segment which has entirely different market characteristics and behaviour. Since changes in import demand largely reflect how consumers respond to changes in income and prices, much can be learnt from the evolution of trade flows.Author: Committee on commodity problems, FAO, September 2009.