Applying the science of scaling

A new RTB initiative is applying the science of scaling to accelerate promising agricultural technologies, showing researchers how to reach more farmers, much sooner.

Scaling up agricultural innovations is one of the biggest challenges facing research and development organizations. Projects have often tried to scale technologies at the end of the intervention, in an ad hoc way such as by giving flyers to farmers, or briefs to policy makers. However, the successful scaling of a new technology depends largely on the enabling environment and needs to be considered from the outset.

The Scaling Readiness Approach treats innovation as a flexible package of technological, organizational and institutional components that may include crop varieties, equipment, management practices, legislation and marketing. An innovation may be ready in a technical sense, for example a new crop variety may thrive in the local environment, but if farmers lack funds to buy seed or if the policy environment discourages the uptake of new varieties, it may not be adopted. This approach assesses the potential of technologies and other innovations supported by RTB to be used at scale, and guides researchers and other stakeholders in implementing these innovations in practical contexts.

Continue reading the story in the RTB 2017 Annual Report: From science to scaling