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Rural innovation systems and networks: findings from a study of Ethiopian smallholders

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  • David Spielman

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  • Kristin Davis
  • Martha Negash
  • Gezahegn Ayele

Abstract

Ethiopian agriculture is changing as new actors, relationships, and policies influence the ways in which small-scale, resource-poor farmers access and use information and knowledge in their agricultural production decisions. Although these changes suggest new opportunities for smallholders, too little is known about how changes will ultimately improve the wellbeing of smallholders in Ethiopia. Thus, we examine whether these changes are improving the ability of smallholders to innovate and thus improve their own welfare. In doing so, we analyze interactions between smallholders and other actors to provide new perspectives on the role played by smallholder innovation networks in the agricultural sector by drawing on data from community case studies conducted in 10 localities. Findings suggest that public extension and administration exert a strong influence over smallholder networks, potentially crowding out market-based and civil society actors, and thus limiting beneficial innovation processes. From a policy perspective, the findings suggest the need to further explore policies and programs that create more space for market and civil society to participate in smallholder innovation networks and improve welfare. From a conceptual and methodological perspective, our findings suggest the need to incorporate rigorous applications of social network analysis into the application of innovation systems theory. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

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  • David Spielman & Kristin Davis & Martha Negash & Gezahegn Ayele, 2011. "Rural innovation systems and networks: findings from a study of Ethiopian smallholders," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 28(2), pages 195-212, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:agrhuv:v:28:y:2011:i:2:p:195-212
    DOI: 10.1007/s10460-010-9273-y
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    2. Ayu Pratiwi & Aya Suzuki, 2017. "Effects of farmers’ social networks on knowledge acquisition: lessons from agricultural training in rural Indonesia," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 6(1), pages 1-23, December.
    3. Crespo, Joan & Réquier-Desjardins, Denis & Vicente, Jérôme, 2014. "Why can collective action fail in Local Agri-food Systems? A social network analysis of cheese producers in Aculco, Mexico," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 165-177.
    4. Evita Pangaribowo & Nicolas Gerber & Pascal Tillie, 2013. "Assessing the FNS impacts of technological and institutional innovations and future innovation trends," FOODSECURE Working papers 11, LEI Wageningen UR.
    5. Davis, Kristin & Swanson, Burton & Amudavi, David & Mekonnen, Daniel Ayalew & Flohrs, Aaron & Riese, Jens & Lamb, Chloe & Zerfu, Elias, 2010. "In-depth assessment of the public agricultural extension system of Ethiopia and recommendations for improvement:," IFPRI discussion papers 1041, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. David Spielman & Kristin Davis & Martha Negash & Gezahegn Ayele, 2011. "Rural innovation systems and networks: findings from a study of Ethiopian smallholders," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 28(2), pages 195-212, June.
    7. Isaac, Marney E., 2012. "Agricultural information exchange and organizational ties: The effect of network topology on managing agrodiversity," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 9-15.
    8. Singh Sonal Hukampal & Bhaskar Bhowmick, 2016. "Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship Development in Rural Indian Context: Exploratory Factor Analysis," International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management (IJITM), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 13(04), pages 1-20, August.
    9. Faure, Guy & Davis, Kristin E. & Ragasa, Catherine & Franzel, Steven & Babu, Suresh Chandra, 2016. "Framework to assess performance and impact of pluralistic agricultural extension systems: The best-fit framework revisited:," IFPRI discussion papers 1567, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Villegas, Laura & Smith, Vincent H. & Atwood, Joe & Belasco, Eric, 2. "Does Participation In Public Works Programs Encourage Fertilizer Use In Rural Ethiopia?," International Journal of Food and Agricultural Economics (IJFAEC), Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Department of Economics and Finance, vol. 4(2).
    11. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Bernier, Quinn & Haglund, Eric, 2013. "The six "ins" of climate-smart agriculture: Inclusive institutions for information, innovation, investment, and insurance:," CAPRi working papers 114, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    12. Kirstie Cadger & Andrews K. Quaicoo & Evans Dawoe & Marney E. Isaac, 2016. "Development Interventions and Agriculture Adaptation: A Social Network Analysis of Farmer Knowledge Transfer in Ghana," Agriculture, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1-14, July.
    13. Mekonnen, Tigist, 2017. "Productivity and household welfare impact of technology adoption: Micro-level evidence from rural Ethiopia," MERIT Working Papers 007, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    14. repec:zbw:espost:170683 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:col:000129:016214 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Foran, Tira & Butler, James R.A. & Williams, Liana J. & Wanjura, Wolf J. & Hall, Andy & Carter, Lucy & Carberry, Peter S., 2014. "Taking Complexity in Food Systems Seriously: An Interdisciplinary Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 85-101.
    17. repec:spr:agrhuv:v:34:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10460-016-9725-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Mekonnen, Tigist, 2017. "Financing rural households and its impact: Evidence from randomized field experiment data," MERIT Working Papers 009, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    19. Abebe, Gumataw K. & Bijman, Jos & Pascucci, Stefano & Omta, Onno, 2013. "Adoption of improved potato varieties in Ethiopia: The role of agricultural knowledge and innovation system and smallholder farmers’ quality assessment," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 22-32.
    20. Kebebe, E. & Duncan, AJ & Klerkx, L. & de Boer, I.J.M. & Oosting, S.J., 2015. "Understanding socio-economic and policy constraints to dairy development in Ethiopia: A coupled functional-structural innovation systems analysis," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 69-78.
    21. Rupert Friederichsen & Thai Minh & Andreas Neef & Volker Hoffmann, 2013. "Adapting the innovation systems approach to agricultural development in Vietnam: challenges to the public extension service," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 30(4), pages 555-568, December.
    22. 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.
    23. Hermans, Frans & van Apeldoorn, Dirk & Stuiver, Marian & Kok, Kasper, 2013. "Niches and networks: Explaining network evolution through niche formation processes," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 613-623.
    24. Petr Matous & Yasuyuki Todo & Ayu Pratiwi, 2015. "The role of motorized transport and mobile phones in the diffusion of agricultural information in Tanggamus Regency, Indonesia," Transportation, Springer, vol. 42(5), pages 771-790, September.

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