An exploration of agricultural grassroots innovation in South Africa and implications for innovation indicator development
AbstractThe core of this paper consists of two case studies of 'grassroots' innovation led by innovative smallholder farmers in a village in South Africa - one about developing an alternative production practice for growing potatoes, and the other about introducing a new cash crop (cherry peppers) and the establishment of a new marketing relationship. One of the purposes of the study was to explore questions about the development of innovation indicators that might support policy and management concerned with this kind of innovation. The case studies are therefore located in the context of a review of existing science, technology and innovation indicators and their limitations with respect to this area of agricultural innovation. Another purpose was to identify and clarify the position of 'grassroots' innovation within other perspectives on different kinds of innovation system (or mode of innovation) in agriculture in developing countries. The case studies are also therefore set in the context of a review of literature about these other system perspectives, focusing in particular in 'formal' and 'informal' systems, and on 'grassroots' and 'participatory' modes of innovation involving interactions between formal and informal systems. The combination of case studies and broader reviews leads to two main conclusions: (1) grassroots and other participatory modes of agricultural innovation merit much greater policy attention than they have received; but (2) the base of available analysis and indicators about these approaches to innovation and their effectiveness is still inadequate to inform and support policy and management in this area. The paper therefore concludes with a discussion of steps that might be taken to improve the available information, understanding and indicators about these modes of innovation.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) in its series MERIT Working Papers with number 023.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Agriculture; innovation; grassroots innovation; informal economy;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O13 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pauw, Kalie, 2007. "Agriculture and poverty: Farming for food or farming for money?," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 46(2), June.
- John Thompson & Ian Scoones, 1994. "Challenging the populist perspective: Rural people's knowledge, agricultural research, and extension practice," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 58-76, March.
- Spielman, David J. & Kelemework, Dawit, 2009.
"Measuring agricultural innovation system properties and performance: Illustrations from Ethiopia and Vietnam,"
IFPRI discussion papers
851, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Spielman, David J. & Kelemework, Dawit, 2009. "Measuring Agricultural Innovation System Properties and Performance: Illustrations from Ethiopia and Vietnam," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 50791, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
- Oliveira, Pedro & von Hippel, Eric, 2011. "Users as service innovators: The case of banking services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 806-818, July.
- Johnson, Nancy L. & Lilja, Nina & Ashby, Jacqueline A., 2003. "Measuring the impact of user participation in agricultural and natural resource management research," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 287-306, November.
- Ron Sandrey & Nick Vink, 2008. "Deregulation, Trade Reform and Innovation in the South African Agriculture Sector," OECD Journal: General Papers, OECD Publishing, vol. 2008(4), pages 219-255.
- Lipton, Michael, 2010. "From Policy Aims and Small-farm Characteristics to Farm Science Needs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1399-1412, October.
- Biggs, Stephen D. & Clay, Edward J., 1981. "Sources of innovation in agricultural technology," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 321-336, April.
- Fuglie, Keith, 2013. "U.S. Agricultural Productivity," Proceedings Issues, 2013: Productivity and Its Impacts on Global Trade, June 2-4, 2013. Seville, Spain 152336, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
- Slaughter, Sarah, 1993. "Innovation and learning during implementation: a comparison of user and manufacturer innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 81-95, February.
- Norman Clark, 2002. "Innovation Systems, Institutional Change And The New Knowledge Market: Implications For Third World Agricultural Development," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(4-5), pages 353-368.
- Franke, Nikolaus & Shah, Sonali, 2003. "How communities support innovative activities: an exploration of assistance and sharing among end-users," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 157-178, January.
- Drimie, Scott & Germishuyse, T. & Rademeyer, L. & Schwabe, Craig, 2009. "Agricultural production in Greater Sekhukhune: the future for food security in a poverty node of South Africa?," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 48(3), September.
- Nelson, Richard R., 2008. "What enables rapid economic progress: What are the needed institutions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 1-11, February.
- von Hippel, Eric, 1976. "The dominant role of users in the scientific instrument innovation process," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 212-239, July.
- Luthje, Christian & Herstatt, Cornelius & von Hippel, Eric, 2005. "User-innovators and "local" information: The case of mountain biking," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 951-965, August.
- Douthwaite, B. & Keatinge, J. D. H. & Park, J. R., 2001. "Why promising technologies fail: the neglected role of user innovation during adoption," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 819-836, May.
- Feder, Gershon & Anderson, Jock R. & Birner, Regina & Deininger, Klaus, 2010. "Promises and realities of community-based agricultural extension," IFPRI discussion papers 959, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Aliber, Michael & Hart, Tim G.B., 2009. "Should subsistence agriculture be supported as a strategy to address rural food insecurity?," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 48(4), December.
- Tether, Bruce S. & Tajar, Abdelouahid, 2008. "The organisational-cooperation mode of innovation and its prominence amongst European service firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 720-739, May.
- Hazell, Peter & Poulton, Colin & Wiggins, Steve & Dorward, Andrew, 2010. "The Future of Small Farms: Trajectories and Policy Priorities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1349-1361, October.
- Baldwin, Carliss & Hienerth, Christoph & von Hippel, Eric, 2006. "How user innovations become commercial products: A theoretical investigation and case study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1291-1313, November.
- Nelson, Richard R. & Sampat, Bhaven N., 2001. "Making sense of institutions as a factor shaping economic performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 31-54, January.
- Jensen, Morten Berg & Johnson, Bjorn & Lorenz, Edward & Lundvall, Bengt Ake, 2007. "Forms of knowledge and modes of innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 680-693, June.
- Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
- David A Raitzer & Timothy G Kelley, 2008. "Assessing the contribution of impact assessment to donor decisions for international agricultural research," Research Evaluation, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 187-199, September.
- Klerkx, Laurens & Leeuwis, Cees, 2008. "Institutionalizing end-user demand steering in agricultural R&D: Farmer levy funding of R&D in The Netherlands," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 460-472, April.
- Hall, Andrew & Rasheed Sulaiman, V. & Clark, Norman & Yoganand, B., 2003. "From measuring impact to learning institutional lessons: an innovation systems perspective on improving the management of international agricultural research," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 213-241, November.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ad Notten).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.