Challenges to Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Systems: Where Do We Go From Here?
AbstractThis paper was prepared to present at the Farmer First Revisited: 20 Years On conference at IDS, University of Sussex, UK, December 2007. Its focus is the challenge of strengthening agricultural innovation systems. The paper prefaces this discussion by reflecting on an apparent paradox. While agricultural innovation has never been better studied and understood, many of our ideas about innovation have failed to fundamentally change the institutional and policy setting of public and private investment intended to promote innovation for development. The paper asks "students of innovation" why a virtual spiral of innovation practice and policy learning hasn't emerged. The paper then locates the current interest in innovation systems in the evolving and contested approaches to agricultural development, noting that this is characterised by a long history of false dichotomies. The contingencies of the emerging agricultural scenario will demand the more networked modes of collective intelligence and innovation that are embodied in the innovation systems concept. The paper argues, however, that the innovation systems idea should be view as a metaphor for innovation diversity, rather than another competing innovation narrative. The way forward, it is suggested, is to create a united front of different collective intelligence-based innovation narratives to kick-start the virtuous spiral of innovation practice and policy learning. This is needed to strengthen agricultural innovation systems and so achieve developmental goals. The paper argues that it is the responsibly of all us "students of innovation" to argue for this space for diversity to flourish and to help consolidate and promote what is known about agricultural innovation. If we aren't more successful in stimulating institutional and policy change we will still be debating these issues 20 years hence.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology in its series UNU-MERIT Working Paper Series with number 038.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
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Web page: http://www.merit.unu.edu
Agricultural innovation systems; institutional and policy change; space for diversity; innovation narratives; collective intelligence; self-reflection.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O2 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
- Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
- O43 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy-Making and Implementation
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- Andy Hall, 2005. "Capacity development for agricultural biotechnology in developing countries: an innovation systems view of what it is and how to develop it," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(5), pages 611-630.
- Letty, Brigid & Shezi, Zanele & Mudhara, Maxwell, 2012. "An exploration of agricultural grassroots innovation in South Africa and implications for innovation indicator development," UNU-MERIT Working Paper Series 023, United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology.
- Prasad Pant, Laxmi & Hambly Odame, Helen & Hall, Andy & Sulaiman, Rasheed, 2008. "Learning Networks Matter: Challenges to Developing Learning-Based Competence in Mango Production and Post-Harvest in Andhra Pradesh, India," UNU-MERIT Working Paper Series 069, United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology.
- Vamsidhar Reddy, T.S. & Hall, Andy & Sulaiman V., Rasheed, 2010. "New Organisational and Institutional Vehicles for Managing Innovation in South Asia: Opportunities for Using Research for Technical Change and Social Gain," UNU-MERIT Working Paper Series 054, United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology.
- World Bank, 2011. "Missing Food : The Case of Postharvest Grain Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2824, The World Bank.
- Douglas Horton & Beatrice Akello & Lucy Aliguma & Thomas Bernet & Andre Devaux & Berga Lemaga & Damalie Magala & Sarah Mayanja & Immaculate Sekitto & Graham Thiele & Claudio Velasco, 2010. "Developing capacity for agricultural market chain innovation: Experience with the 'PMCA' in Uganda," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 367-389.
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