Innovation in agriculture is a precondition for meeting the challenge of feeding the world’s growing population in the face of a changing climate and degrading natural resources. It is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of ending poverty and hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture. Innovation also has a role to play in achieving gender equality, ensuring healthy lives for all and contributing to economic growth. Many countries are however not fully exploiting their innovation potential. In order to do so, they must strengthen the capacity of individuals and organizations, create an enabling environment and, crucially, reinforced or make more effective Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS).
AIS, may be defined as complex networks of actors (individuals, organizations and enterprises), together with supporting institutions and policies that bring existing or new agricultural products, processes, and practices into social and economic use.
In 2012, the Agriculture Ministers of the G20 called for the creation of a Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP) to promote the development of national capacities for agricultural innovation in the tropics, where almost all low-income countries are located. The aim of TAP is to enhance the overall performance of AIS, with particular focus on small- and medium-scale producers and enterprises in the agribusiness sector. TAP’s ultimate objective is to make agriculture more sustainable and improve livelihoods.