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An innovation systems perspective on strengthening agricultural education and training in sub-Saharan Africa

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Author Info

  • Spielman, David J.
  • Ekboir, Javier
  • Davis, Kristin
  • Ochieng, Cosmas M.O.

Abstract

This paper examines the role of postsecondary agricultural education and training (AET) in sub-Saharan Africa in the context of the region's agricultural innovation systems. Specifically, the paper looks at how AET in sub-Saharan Africa can contribute to agricultural development by strengthening innovative capacity, or the ability of individuals and organisations to introduce new products and processes that are socially or economically relevant, particularly with respect to smallholder farmers who represent the largest group of agricultural producers in the region. The paper argues that while AET is conventionally viewed in terms of its role in building human and scientific capital, its also has a vital role to play in building the capacity of organisations and individuals to transmit and adapt new applications of existing information, new products and processes, and new organisational cultures and behaviours. The paper emphasizes the importance of improving AET systems by strengthening the innovative capabilities of AET organisations and professionals; changing organisational cultures, behaviours, and incentives; and building innovation networks and linkages. Specific recommendations in support of this include aligning the mandates of AET organisations with national development aspirations by promoting new educational programs that are more strategically attuned to the different needs of society; inducing change in the cultures of AET organisations through the introduction of educational programs and linkages beyond the formal AET system; and strengthening individual and organisational capacity by improving the incentives to forge stronger linkages between AET and diverse user communities, knowledge sources, and private industry.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

Volume (Year): 98 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 1-9

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Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:98:y:2008:i:1:p:1-9

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agsy

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References

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  1. Giovanni Dosi & Christopher Freeman & Richard Nelson & Gerarld Silverberg & Luc Soete (ed.), 1988. "Technical Change and Economic Theory," LEM Book Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy, number dosietal-1988, June.
  2. Clark, Norman & Hall, Andy & Sulaiman, Rasheed & Naik, Guru, 2003. "Research as Capacity Building: The Case of an NGO Facilitated Post-Harvest Innovation System for the Himalayan Hills," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(11), pages 1845-1863, November.
  3. Davis, Kristin & Ekboir, Javier & Mekasha, Wendmsyamregne & Ochieng, Cosmas M.O. & Spielman, David J. & Zerfu, Elias, 2007. "Strengthening agricultural education and training in Sub-Saharan Africa from an innovation systems perspective: Case studies of Ethiopia and Mozambique," IFPRI discussion papers 736, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. James Smith, 2005. "Context-bound knowledge production, capacity building and new product networks," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(5), pages 647-659.
  5. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Garb, Yaakov & Friedlander, Lonia, 2014. "From transfer to translation: Using systemic understandings of technology to understand drip irrigation uptake," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 13-24.
  2. Donnet, M. Laura & Hellin, Jonathan & Riis-Jacobsen, Jens, 2012. "Linking Agricultural Research with the Agribusiness Community from a Pro-Poor Perspective: the Importance of Human Capital Development," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA), vol. 15(A).
  3. Independent Evaluation Group, 2011. "Growth and Productivity in Agriculture and Agribusiness : Evaluative Lessons from World Bank Group Experience," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2279, October.
  4. Laurens Klerkx & Andy Hall & Cees Leeuwis, 2009. "Strengthening agricultural innovation capacity: are innovation brokers the answer?," International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(5/6), pages 409-438.
  5. Ragasa, Catherine & Babu, Suresh & Abdullahi, Aliyu Sabi & Abubakar, Baba Yusuf, 2010. "Strengthening innovation capacity of Nigerian agricultural research organizations:," IFPRI discussion papers 01050, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Klerkx, Laurens & Aarts, Noelle & Leeuwis, Cees, 2010. "Adaptive management in agricultural innovation systems: The interactions between innovation networks and their environment," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(6), pages 390-400, July.
  7. Poncet, J. & Kuper, M. & Chiche, J., 2010. "Wandering off the paths of planned innovation: The role of formal and informal intermediaries in a large-scale irrigation scheme in Morocco," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(4), pages 171-179, May.
  8. Yang, Huan & Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2014. "Functions and limitations of farmer cooperatives as innovation intermediaries: Findings from China," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 115-125.
  9. Hall, Andy & Dijkman, Jeroen & Sulaiman, Rasheed, 2010. "Research Into Use: Investigating the Relationship between Agricultural Research and Innovation," MERIT Working Papers 044, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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