There may be plenty of exciting ideas around that could help solve hunger, poverty and lack of access to energy. But the problem is persuading people to adopt them and roll them out on a large scale in poor, marginalised communities.
For instance, at the Convergences 2015 Forum in Paris last month, a photo exhibition entitled Innovate against Hunger, by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), presented several agricultural innovations that are helping farmers cope with drier weather and more unpredictable rainfall. Low-pressure drip irrigation, small seed packets, and bio-reclamation of degraded lands are all boosting yields and incomes, while boosting people’s resilience.
At the same time, the images showed that technology alone is not enough to drive development. You also need good ways to scale it up – for example, social venture models to mass-market goods or training videos made by farmers for other farmers.
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