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

  • Spielman, David J.
  • Davis, Kristin E.
  • Negash, Martha
  • Ayele, Gezahegn

"Agriculture in Ethiopia is changing. New players, relationships, and policies are influencing how smallholders access and use information and knowledge. Although this growing complexity suggests opportunities for Ethiopian smallholders, too little is known about how these opportunities can be effectively leveraged to promote pro-poor processes of rural innovation. This paper examines Ethiopia's smallholder agricultural sector to provide qualitative insights into the interactions between smallholders and other actors in the agricultural sector and the contribution those interactions make to the smallholders' innovation processes. Case studies of smallholder innovation networks in 10 communities suggest that public sector extension and administration exert a strong influence over smallholders' access to knowledge and information relative to market or civil society actors. Given the priority the Ethiopian government has placed on improving rural welfare by increasing market access among smallholders, the findings of this study may suggest the need to further explore policies and programs that create more space for market and civil society actors to participate in smallholder innovation networks." from Author's Abstract

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 759.

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Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:759
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  1. Malerba, Franco, 2002. "Sectoral systems of innovation and production," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 247-264, February.
  2. Björn Johnson & Olman Segura-Bonilla, 2001. "Innovation Systems and Developing Countries Experiences from the SUDESCA Project," DRUID Working Papers 01-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  3. Timothy Conley & Udry Christopher, 2001. "Social Learning Through Networks: The Adoption of New Agricultural Technologies in Ghana," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 668-673.
  4. 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, vol. 28(2), pages 195-212, June.
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  12. Giuliani, Elisa & Bell, Martin, 2005. "The micro-determinants of meso-level learning and innovation: evidence from a Chilean wine cluster," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 47-68, February.
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  16. Byerlee, Derek & Spielman, David J. & Alemu, Dawit & Gautam, Madhur, 2007. "Policies to promote cereal intensification in Ethiopia: A review of evidence and experience," IFPRI discussion papers 707, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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