“Scaling up” sounds a lot like development jargon, but it actually applies to any big idea. You see examples of things that have been scaled up every day: if you’ve browsed the internet, used a mobile phone or even flipped a light switch today, then you’ve benefited from technologies that now belong to the masses where they once lived only in the heads of a few forward-thinking entrepreneurs.
What do we know about how to pursue scaling up of agricultural technologies? While scaling up is a simple concept, it’s generally not a simple process. Spontaneous diffusion of good ideas happens, especially in the private sector, but this is not the rule for adoption of proven technologies by poor farmers. Successful scaling up usually involves, in addition to farmers, many different public and private actors and institutions along a complex value chain.
To date, more than 1,200 volunteers have served or are serving as Feed the Future Peace Corps Volunteers, improving global food security at the grassroots level. Here are five specific ways volunteers are helping feed the future.