Agricultural Innovation

At KIT Royal Tropical Institute, our expertise in research, training, and teaching helps create novel solutions for agricultural problems. Agricultural growth can help hundreds of millions of people improve their income while also securing enough food for themselves and their communities.

However many people in agricultural systems operate in increasingly complex and uncertain economic, technological and social environments. Working both in the field and with theory, we ease the pressure of constant change and complexity by supporting our clients to introduce innovation into agriculture.

Our Approach & Expertise

At KIT we work with a diverse range of individuals and organisations—such as smallholder farmers, private agents and service providers—to strengthen and accelerate problem solving and bring about desirable change within current food systems. We create tailor-made approaches for clients’ agricultural challenges by combining elements of large-scale system thinking, farmer-led innovation, and value-chain development. Using decades of theoretical as well as practical knowledge we build bridges between academia, policy makers, and private sector actors—enabling solutions that work in the field. Particular emphasis is placed on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the meaningful inclusion of women and vulnerable groups in all of these efforts.

Variety of agricultural services

The quest for innovation brings with it a need for a variety of agricultural services. Research and advisory services are perhaps the most well-known agricultural services—which need to cater to a wide range of farmers and other individuals within the agricultural sector. To do this efficiently and effectively we train and coach researchers, farmer organisations, policy makers and extension agents (i.e. those who apply research insights) to be better able to link to and learn from others involved the agricultural innovation system. Additionally, we co-design agricultural research and extension projects and policies, and support efforts to monitor and evaluate their performance.

Achieve (development) impact

We know that NGOs and research organisations are increasingly expected to achieve (development) impact at considerable scales. For many this raises questions about how to convert a successful pilot project into a large-scale project with wider public or private success. Our understanding of system processes and the best enabling conditions in environments, institutions and economic settings can aid creation of successful increases in scale. At KIT we help clients to look beyond inputs, activities and outputs, and learn about the success factors and blockers of pilot projects. Using this to help define scaling strategies—while documenting, analysing and publishing innovative developments in agricultural practices—gives KIT the edge to improve our clients’ work and achieve wide-reaching adoption of successful agricultural innovations.

Our services

Education, training and coaching

There is probably no better contribution towards sustainable development than investing in people and building capacities at all levels. KIT Royal Tropical Institute plays a major role in this by offering a range of education and capacity building services, from formal education at masters level to client-oriented training and coaching support. Our training and coaching programmes are tailor-made to address the unique objectives and capacities of the requesting organisation.

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Policy & Programme Design

KIT Royal Tropical Institute operates at the intersection of theory and practice and between policy and implementation, translating good intentions into meaningful social and economic impact.

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Monitoring, Evaluation & Impact Assessment

Monitoring, evaluation, and impact assessment are powerful tools to assess health, social, and economic impact. They allow us to learn what works and why. Our expertise and track record in these areas make us well-equipped to evaluate your work. 

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Knowledge Management

Development and research organisations are often so focused on achieving their objectives that they find it difficult to create the time to look back, analyse and learn from what they experienced and share their results.

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Our experts