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A comparison of innovation in the Scottish livestock sector: the case of genetic selection techniques


  • Borthwick, F. A.
  • Barnes, Andrew Peter
  • Lamprinopoulou-Kranis, Chrysa


This paper compares innovation systems in three main Scottish livestock sectors: dairy, beef, and sheep, using the uptake of Estimated Breed Values (EBVs) across these three sectors. We apply an innovation systems approach to identify systemic challenges within these sectors. Barriers to the adoption of genetic techniques in all three sectors were identified through interviews with national experts and via a stakeholder workshop. Three types of barrier emerged: practical barriers – such as low fertility rates for artificial insemination in sheep; social barriers such as farmer’s scepticism; and market/supply chain barriers, such as limited information flow to farmers within the beef and sheep sectors. We use the innovation system failures framework developed by Weber and Rohracherb (2012) to identify the broad failures within these sectors such as information asymmetries, infrastructure and institutional failures. We show the dairy sector avoids some of these challenges, particularly practical barriers, and market/supply chain barriers. The attributes of the dairy innovation system which enable this are discussed such as data collection management, information on bulls frequently published, and the involvement of breed societies. Finally, solutions are suggested to resolve these innovation systems failures in the livestock sectors.

Suggested Citation

  • Borthwick, F. A. & Barnes, Andrew Peter & Lamprinopoulou-Kranis, Chrysa, 2014. "A comparison of innovation in the Scottish livestock sector: the case of genetic selection techniques," 88th Annual Conference, April 9-11, 2014, AgroParisTech, Paris, France 169745, Agricultural Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aesc14:169745

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    Innovation systems; Estimated Breed Values; Dairy; Beef; Sheep; Systemic failures; Demand and Price Analysis; International Relations/Trade; Livestock Production/Industries; Marketing; Q1;

    JEL classification:

    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture

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