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Last update: May 2021

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Co-design of innovative cropping systems with two communities in Burkina Faso

Combining innovations tracking, participatory prototyping trials and farmers' trials.

Thesis Anne Périnelle - UPR Aida (CIRAD) - Montpellier, 2021


In view of the increasingly urgent need for innovation in agriculture, especially in developing countries, it is necessary to develop approaches to co-design Innovative Cropping Systems (ICS) that can be adapted by farmers and that are adapted to local conditions of resources accessibility. To do so, we propose an original combination of different methods such as the characterization of innovations implemented by farmers (On-farm innovation tracking), test of various innovative practices on Participatory Prototyping Trials (PPTs), design and evaluation workshops, and farmers' step-by-step design trials where farmers can adapt the innovations to their condition. through an try and error learning process. The study that aims to understand how our approach enabled a co-design process was conducted with 73 producers belonging to two communities in the cotton production zone of Burkina Faso. We show that: (i) Some technical options implemented by innovative farmers in the area anticipate different drivers of change of the study area, and other farmers shown interest for these innovative cropping systems during evaluation field days on the PPTs; (ii) A wide range of farmers can be involved by debating various innovative practices demonstrated in the PPTs- innovations that are developed taking into account farmer's evaluation and corresponds. farmer's and resources; (iii) By experimenting on their own farms, farmers have adapted these iCSs to their particular situation and enter into a step-by-step designing process of innovative cropping systems, a process that is fueled by exchanges among peers and with agronomists. Thus, by subjecting innovations developed by local farmers to the collective evaluation of other farmers, we have initiated, within a wide variety of production systems, the step-by-step design of ICSs that are adapted to each individual situation.

Defense on 18 May 2021

Under direction of:

Jean-Marc Meynard et Eric Scopel


  • Katrien DESCHEEMAEKER, Wageningen University and Research
  • Marianne CERF, INRAE
  • Der DABIRE, CIRDES (Burkina Faso)
  • Guillaume MARTIN, INRAE
  • Jean-Marc MEYNARD, INRAE

See also

Thesis manuscript

IDEAS webinar: 2 july 2021

Périnelle, A., Meynard, J.-M., Scopel, E., 2021. "Combining on-farm innovation tracking and participatory prototyping trials to develop legume-based cropping systems in West Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).