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

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  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Spielman, David J. & Ekboir, Javier & Davis, Kristin & Ochieng, Cosmas M.O., 2008. "An innovation systems perspective on strengthening agricultural education and training in sub-Saharan Africa," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 1-9, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:98:y:2008:i:1:p:1-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jan Fagerberg, 2003. "Innovation: A Guide to the Literature," Working Papers on Innovation Studies 20031012, Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo.
    2. 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, August.
    3. Chris Freeman & Luc Soete, 1997. "The Economics of Industrial Innovation, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262061953, January.
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    5. 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.
    6. 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).
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    Cited by:

    1. Hermans, Frans & Stuiver, Marian & Beers, P.J. & Kok, Kasper, 2013. "The distribution of roles and functions for upscaling and outscaling innovations in agricultural innovation systems," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 117-128.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:eee:agisys:v:153:y:2017:i:c:p:221-231 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Lambrecht, Evelien & Kühne, Bianka & Gellynck, Xavier, 2014. "Innovation through Networking: The Case of the Agricultural Sector," 2014 International European Forum, February 17-21, 2014, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 199370, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    6. Kristal Jones & Rebecca J. Williams & Thomas B. Gill, 2017. "“If you study, the last thing you want to be is working under the sun:” an analysis of perceptions of agricultural education and occupations in four countries," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 34(1), pages 15-25, March.
    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. 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 (IFAMA), vol. 15(A).
    9. Schut, Marc & van Asten, Piet & Okafor, Chris & Hicintuka, Cyrille & Mapatano, Sylvain & Nabahungu, Nsharwasi Léon & Kagabo, Desire & Muchunguzi, Perez & Njukwe, Emmanuel & Dontsop-Nguezet, Paul M. & , 2016. "Sustainable intensification of agricultural systems in the Central African Highlands: The need for institutional innovation," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 165-176.
    10. Stür, Werner & Khanh, Truong Tan & Duncan, Alan, 2016. "Transformation of smallholder beef-cattle production in Vietnam," IFPRI book chapters,in: Innovation for inclusive value-chain development: Successes and challenges, chapter 6, pages 201-228 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. 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).
    12. Renkow, Mitch & Slade, Roger, 2013. "An assessment of IFPRI's work in Ethiopia 1995-2010: Ideology, influence, and idiosyncrasy," Impact assessments 36, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    13. Haggblade, Steven & Chapoto, Antony & Hendriks, Sheryl & Kabwe, Stephen & Minde, Isaac & Mugisha, Johnny & Terblanche, Fanie & Yaye, Aissetou, 2014. "Improving the Relevance and Effectiveness of Agricultural Education and Training in Africa: Insights from Agricultural Role Models," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 183863, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    14. 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.
    15. Schut, Marc & Rodenburg, Jonne & Klerkx, Laurens & Kayeke, Juma & van Ast, Aad & Bastiaans, Lammert, 2015. "RAAIS: Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Innovation Systems (Part II). Integrated analysis of parasitic weed problems in rice in Tanzania," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 12-24.
    16. 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.
    17. Davis, Kristin & Babu, Suresh Chandra & Blom, Sylvia, 2014. "Building the resilience of smallholders through extension and advisory services:," IFPRI book chapters,in: Fan, Shenggen & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul & Yosef, Sivan (ed.), 2013 Global Food Policy Report, chapter 15 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    18. Aguilar-Gallegos, Norman & Muñoz-Rodríguez, Manrrubio & Santoyo-Cortés, Horacio & Aguilar-Ávila, Jorge & Klerkx, Laurens, 2015. "Information networks that generate economic value: A study on clusters of adopters of new or improved technologies and practices among oil palm growers in Mexico," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 122-132.
    19. 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).
    20. 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.

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