Enhancing Agricultural Innovation : How to Go Beyond the Strengthening of Research Systems
Agricultural development depends to a great extent on how successfully knowledge is generated and applied. Investments in knowledge, especially in the form of science and technology, have been featured prominently and consistently in most strategies to promote sustainable and equitable agricultural development at the national level. Although many of these investments have been quite successful, the context for agriculture is changing rapidly-sometimes radically-and the process of knowledge generation and use has been transformed as well. It is increasingly recognized that traditional agricultural science and technology investments such as research and extension, although necessary, are not sufficient to enable agricultural innovation. As this paper will demonstrate, new perspectives on the nature of the agricultural innovation process can yield practical approaches to agricultural development that may be more suited to this changing context. This paper includes the following headings: (i) reasons for assessing the value of the innovation systems perspective; (ii) the innovation systems concept - a framework for analysis; (iii) research methodology and case study descriptions; (iv) innovation system capacity - a comparative analysis of case studies; (v) reviewing the innovation systems concept in light of the case studies; (vi) toward a framework for diagnosis and intervention; and (vii) conclusions.
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