Building Capacity on Strengthening Agriculture Innovation Systems (AIS) in the Asia-Pacific

On 19 and 20 October, the Research and Extension Unit of FAO, together with the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) and Asia-Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services Network (APIRAS) have conducted a Training of Trainers (ToT) on Strengthening Agriculture Innovation Systems (AIS) in the Asia-Pacific within the framework of the TAP-AIS project, an EU-funded project that aims to strengthen Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS).

FAO’s TAP-AIS project is committed to provide technical support to APAARI and APIRAS to strengthen their capacity to scale this mission in Asia-Pacific. APAARI and APIRAS play an important role in supporting countries in Asia and the Pacific and they jointly carried out a rapid appraisal to scope initiatives aimed at strengthening AIS in Asia. The key findings from the Joint Rapid Appraisal highlighted weak capacity in the region to support innovation processes, in particular through development of functional capacities for innovation.

The Training of Trainers focused on introducing AIS concepts, TAP Common Framework for functional capacity development and its approaches and tools for practical use.

About 30 participants (including AIS practitioners, regional experts, researchers, extension advisors and capacity development specialists) joined the webinar from 13 countries in Asia and the Pacific: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Kyrgyzstan, India, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam. Sixty percent of the participants were women.

The trainers and facilitators from FAO, APAARI and APIRAS actively developed a shared understanding of AIS and provided a mutual space for sharing and learning from their own experiences by engaging participants through interactive presentations, case studies and group activities. Two days of active exchange and learning created a sense of community among participants, with the shared objective and interest to support innovation in their countries and promote functional capacity development through their own work at various national institutes.

Following this Training of Trainers, the Research and Extension Unit of FAO, in the coming months, will carry out two more ToTs in Africa and Latin America with their partner research and extension organizations in the region. 

Figure 1. Prof Dr Norsida Man, Dr Epsi Euriga and Ms. Asri Sulistiawati as RASSEA’s delegate on Training of Trainers (ToT) on Strengthening Agriculture Innovation Systems (AIS) in the Asia-Pacific

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