Tropical Agriculture Platform.

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00153 Rome

Promoting agricultural innovation in the tropics

To feed a growing population and meet the challenge of climate change, agricultural production must intensify in a sustainable way, and innovation is key to make that happen. A sustainable intensification of agriculture is particularly needed in the tropics, where FAO is involved in the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP).

Initiated by the G20 and generously supported by the European Union, TAP focuses on the development of national capacities for agricultural innovation in the tropics, where most of the developing countries are located and the capacity gap is especially wide. By helping to bridge the capacity gap, TAP aims to pave the way for agricultural innovations that meet the demands of its principal users - small farmers, small and medium-sized agribusinesses and consumers. 

To achieve these goals, TAP has embraced the so-called Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) perspective, acting as a multilateral dynamic facilitation mechanism that enables better coherence and greater impact of Capacity Development (CD) interventions in AIS. 

G20 establishes TAP

TAP was launched at the first G20-led Meeting of Agriculture Chief Scientists (MACS) in September 2012, Mexico, and FAO was requested to lead its development. The G8 leadership also endorsed the development of TAP. 

TAP has formed a coalition of more than 40 partners, including national agricultural research, education and extension institutions as well as civil society actors, farmers’ organizations and key regional and international fora, networks and agencies.

To consolidate the different existing approaches to agricultural innovation, TAP Partners have approved the TAP Action Plan, which included in 2015 the development of a Common Framework on CD for AIS. In January 2016, following a thorough and highly participatory development process, the TAP Partners have approved the Common Framework for its use by TAP partners and others. 

Concepts and principles of the TAP Common Framework are being tested in eight countries in Africa (Angola, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Rwanda), Asia (Bangladesh, Laos) and Central America (Guatemala, Honduras), as part of an initiative called CDAIS, or Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems. 

The implementation of the TAP Action Plan and the work in eight countries are made possible thanks to the financial contribution of the European Union to the CDAIS project, to FAO through its staff involvement, to the German government through an Associate Professional Officer and to TAP Partners engaged in the Steering Committee and working groups.

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