Innovations in Agriculture: Scaling Up to Reach Millions

Many technologies and innovations to improve agriculture in the developing world have been developed or identified. That’s good news. By 2050 we ​need to feed 35% more people, globally, and growing numbers of large populations already yearn for food security, better nutrition, and improved livelihoods. However, successfully scaling up innovations to make them truly impactful and sustainable has proven to be difficult.

The Scale Up Conference was a high-level event that brought together over 200 individuals representing 100 organizations engaged in the introduction, diffusion, and adoption of agricultural innovations that have the potential to reach millions. Attendees gained an understanding of successful, sustainable large-scale implementation. Researchers, implementing organizations, the business community, policymakers, and the donor community came together to discuss best practices for scaling up agricultural technologies.

Our keynote speaker was Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group, 2017 World Food Prize Laureate, and an alumnus of Purdue University.  To organize this conference, Purdue University partnered with the African Development Bank Group, an organization focused on spurring sustainable economic growth and social progress in its regional member countries.​

About the Organizers

Organizing Units



Purdue University
Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Partnerships
Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity​


IPIA_identity_CLR (1).jpg 

IPIA - International Programs in Agriculture


Partner Organization

African Development Bank Group

African Development Bank Group Logo



Lead Organizers at Purdue University​

Suzanne Nielsen

Dr. S. Suzanne Nielsen

150th Anniversary Professor and Professor of Food Science; Faculty Fellow, Office of Corporate and Global Partnerships

Carolyn Woo Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo

Distinguished President’s Fellow for Global Development at Purdue University. Formerly, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services

Official Conference Advisors

Larry Cooley

Larry Cooley

President Emeritus of Management Systems International, and Curator of Global Community of Practice on Scaling Up Development        Outcomes

CharCharlene McKoinlene McKoin

International Development Consultant for Value Chain Development, Post-Harvest Loss Mitigation, and Impact Investing;  formerly, Senior Program Officer, Agricultural Development Team, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Why at Purdue University​

For more than 60 years, Purdue University’s College of Agriculture has led and managed large agricultural research and development projects. In addition to a long history of significant agricultural innovations, the university’s reputation has been bolstered three times in the past 10 years when Purdue graduates Philip Nelson, Gebisa Ejeta and Akinwumi Adesina became World Food Prize laureates. Purdue has considerable experience in converting results from USAID-funded projects into large-scale implementation. A recent example is the hermetic storage of grain with PICS (Purdue Improved Crop Storage), which has enabled extensive and significant reduction in post-harvest losses of crops, especially in Africa.


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