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» FP 5: Improved livelihoods at scale

Flagship Project 5: Improved livelihoods at scale

The objective of Flagship Project (FP5) is to achieve more resilient total farm productivity and improved household livelihoods by scaling RTB solutions in agri-food systems. This will build on the integration of RTB crop improvement and production (FP1-FP3) and post-harvest technologies (FP4) in the broader farm, livelihood and institutional context. This results-oriented approach includes (1) a forward-looking analysis of trends, (2) an understanding of the role of RTB crop and other on-farm and off-farm livelihood activities and income sources of smallholders in particular, (3) strong and equitable collaborative arrangements among partners and beneficiaries for scaling RTB solutions, and (4) a critical assessment of outcomes and impact as part of institutional learning.

Clusters of activity

FP5 research and development activities are organized in four interrelated Clusters of Activities that together achieve the objectives and targets of the FP.

    • CC5.1 Foresight, impact assessment and co-learning
      Invests in foresight and impact assessment through qualitative participatory and quantitative modeling tools for foresight and ex-post/ante impact assessment, which will be deployed to inform RTB and partners on R4D investment priorities. Improving livelihoods at scale requires understanding of the technical constraints and opportunities that exist in an area as defined by the biophysical (e.g. climate, soils) and socio-economic (e.g. markets) environment in which a farm community operates.
    • CC5.2 Sustainable intensification and diversification for improved resilience, nutrition and income
      Explores sustainable intensification and diversification options using ‘whole farm’ analysis. Improving livelihoods of RTB-based systems is possible, but requires: (i) Profitable and robust RTB technologies at plant (FP1-2) and plot-level (FP3) that can be integrated at farm-level to improve household returns on land, labor, nutrient and monetary inputs while conserving (or improving) ecosystem functions at field, farm and landscape levels; (ii) Competitive post-harvest processing technologies and market access (FP4) that can add value at farm-level for diverse producer groups (incl. women and youth); (iii) A livelihood systems approach that  extends beyond a single RTB crop and attempts to improve farming household decision making in order to better manage trade-offs and synergies of multiple interacting ‘enterprises’ both on- and off-farm to best achieve a multitude of objectives (income, nutrition, ecosystem services, resilience); (iv) Tailoring innovations to the diversity of farming households within the community and their related needs and ability to adopt technologies.
    • CC5.3 Gender equitable development and youth employment
      Analyzes the role and opportunities of men, women and youth in agriculture and develop strategies, tools and models for inclusive agricultural growth and inclusive A4RD for RTB crops. Institutional barriers, including gender norms, and opportunities in the agricultural sector will be investigated. In particular, FP5 will seek to link youth, women and men to productive resources (a.o. knowledge, credit). This cluster will continue to develop and use both quantitative and qualitative research methods and champion the use of mixed methods in RTB research. This will be done both as a support function to other FPs to strengthen applied research on RTB entry-points and strategic research on gender transformation and women empowerment.
  • CC5.4 Institutional innovation and scaling
    Strengthens up and out scaling models through existing and novel institutional arrangements. Smallholders operate in a policy and institutional environment that affects their investment opportunities. Understanding actor interdependency and facilitating actors to develop ‘joint’ solutions is required to create scaling of innovations. This includes changes in the formal and informal rules and arrangements that shape decisions, practices and interactions across different actors and levels.

Site integration: Flagship 5 will take a strong site-specific approach, applying general lessons and tools to the local contextual setting. Through this approach, it will also reach out to other CRPs and it will include a farm- and community-level assessment of a basket of technology options (well beyond RTB). This will also help us to provide decision support for private and public sector actors on the trade-offs and synergies of different investment options.

Key selected outcomes for Flagship 5 (by 2022)

  • Capacity to deal with climate risks and extremes increased for at least 1 million households
  • At least 35% increase in number of female and young beneficiaries of at least 200,000 households perceive to have better control over assets and resources
  • 150 individuals (50% female) trained through long term programs (e.g. MSc and PhD students)
  • At least 1440 research/development staff in RTB and in mixed-type partner organizations across prime target countries with strengthened capacity in gender-responsive and transformative research

Questions to guide your feedback

  1. What do you consider are the most important and relevant elements in this flagship?
  2. Which elements do you think need strengthening?
  3. How could your organization improve its collaboration with this flagship?

Please leave your feedback as a comment below, specifying the question number you are responding to. Any additional comments are welcome too.

6 thoughts on “Flagship 5

  1. Julian Smith

    This may be trivial and/or I infer too much, but I wonder on the order of
    the flagships and why this is not Number 1. Maybe little thought has been
    given to the order, but it is very jobs worthy for the CGIAR to have a
    breeding programme as the first as if all things flow from breeding.
    I find this flaghship highly original and exciting, and should provide the baseline and justification for other FPs to measure to. Coming at the end it feels like an afterthought to reverse engineer what RTB wants to do. A strong horizon scanning or foresight activity should be a guiding principle for all CRPs (NB horizon scanning and foresight is not a default for models and modelling)

    1. Graham Thiele

      Thanks Julian, great point glad you found this exciting! Well the idea is that this flagship sets the scene and guides the others.

  2. Diego Naziri

    Q2: The livelihood system approach requires a deep understanding of how different farm and off-farm activities compete for the same limited resources and how these interact with and complement each other. Therefore, there is need for strong linkages with the other agri-food system programmes as well as the global integrated (cross-cutting) ones. As far as the latter are concerned, I envision strong linkages between CC5.3/4 and PIM.
    In the site integration process, the boundaries of the "site" should be made clear (eg. a region, country, district, village?)

    1. Graham Thiele

      Absolutely we are taking a portfolio approach which explicitly builds on and tracks collaboration among agri-food systems CRPs, and looking forward to building on strong relationship with PIM.

      Site integration relates to countries, but of course practically we will need to find ways to collaborate more locally. Still not clear exactly how this will work. CRPs and centers may be in the same country but in completely different agro-ecologies to that options to collaborate are less than envisioned.

  3. Keith Tomlins

    I would like to thank the RTB program for the considerations and inviting feedback.
    Q1. It is not clear how much of the activities proposed are research for this flagship as opposed to impact? Either way this will contribute though. Improving livelihoods at scale will require understanding the dynamics of the markets (and competing products), business models for each actor in the value chain, the impact on the environment, land tenure (the poor can loose out), the role of gender and policies among others.
    Q2. I am not sure how the clusters proposed link together and hence contribute to improved livelihoods as scale; this may be a failure in my understanding though. I would give consideration to the size of the enterprises involved, who the winners are, how potential losers are considered and who they might be?
    Q3. The Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich has a proven track record in this area and is happy to contribute.

  4. Roberto Quiroz

    Q1. Focus on farming systems
    Q2. Pay equitable attention to dryland areas.
    Work should be oriented not only to current RTB based systems but to all farming systems in which the introduction of RTB crops as novel components could be important (e.g. potato in rice based or wheat based farming systems.
    Complement yield gap analysis with whole farming system productivity gap analysis and also with livelihoods gap analysis.
    Work with schools as entry points for the development of climate resilient agriculture.
    Q3. RT- Crop Modeling, development and application of remote and proximal sensing tools, farming systems expertise, gender in the context of farming systems expertise


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