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Scale-up of Napier fodder: a case of institutional innovation in small farmer dairying

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Agricultural Value Chains / Agri-Businesses
Type of Risk:
Biological & environmental
Policy & institutional
Prasad, V.L.; Bezkorowajnyj, P.G.; Gurava Reddy, K.; Mahesh, V.K.; Romney, D.

Based on a formal diagnostic survey and subsequent focus group discussions (FGD) with farmers, an improved variety of hybrid Napier was provided to selected Indian farmers as part of a 3-year project aiming at enhancing the livelihoods of poor livestock keepers by improving availability of fodder. The original assumption was that the recipient farmers would demonstrate the improved fodder technology and share the planting material with other farmers. However, in practice, an
institutional innovation in the form of a fodder market emerged between resource farmers and other small farmers and the landless. Seller farmers, buyer farmers, and the milk union anchored the scale-up of Napier because it addressed their interests and needs. The paper discusses the importance of coalitions of actors in the generation and application of knowledge towards the enhancement of livelihoods and poverty reduction.