Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
PS-2.11: Agricultural innovation systems 1
Thursday, 13/Oct/2016:
8:30am - 10:00am

Session Chair: Hadi Nilforoushan, Shahid Beheshti University
Discussant: Evans Mupela, HSRC
Location: Consulat Room II (Homann)

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Interactive Learning, Innovation and Its Outcomes: An Analysis of the Research Institute-Grower Interaction in R&D and Extension in North Indian Tea

KJ Joseph, Namrata Thapa

Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, Kerala, India

It is generally held that innovation in general and R&D and extension in particular play a key role in the development of agricultural sector. Studies using innovation systems perspective have highlighted the importance of interaction between producers of knowledge (research institutes) and consumers of knowledge (growers) as a conduit for learning and innovation. This study explores the interaction between research institutes and large growers in the planning and implementation of R&D and extension activities in tea. It is observed that the growers play a predominant role in shaping the nature and direction of R&D and extension in tea. There has been hardly any sustained increase in the production per hectare of tea as well as limited research on tea processing indicating focus on short-term profit maximization as compared to long term development. Small tea growers are also left altogether from the interactive learning and innovation process. Thus viewed, while interaction is important in learning and innovation, the ultimate outcome would be governed by the role of different actors involved in driving the innovation process.

Application of Agricultural Innovation Systems through Farmer’s Cooperatives: A Remedy for Smallholder Farmers? Reflections from Tanzania

Heric Thomas

Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Research Organization (STIPRO), Tanzania

This paper investigated the role of farmer’s cooperatives in facilitating the application of Agriculture Innovation Systems for small scale farmers in Tanzania (AIS). The paper draws experiences from two already existing cooperatives in Tanzania with a view to understanding their engagement in the innovation processes. The findings show that the cooperatives connect farmers to relevant actors like extension agencies, research institutes, academic institutions, input supplies, transporters and buyers. Moreover, cooperatives act as a facilitators or coordinators in building the network among the system actors to bridge the existing gaps in the AIS because of the absence of a systematic coordinator. The presence of networks among the actors facilitates the knowledge flow from one entity to others.

Extension Service and Agricultural Innovation System: Exploring the Inclusivity of Extension Approaches in Reaching Out Kenyan Rural Farmers

Ann Njoki Kingiri

African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS), Kenya

Agricultural education, extension, and advisory services are a critical means of sharing new knowledge with farmers for the benefit of agricultural productivity, increasing food security and improving rural livelihoods. This is because such institutions have a mandate to transfer technology, support learning, assist farmers in problem solving, and enable farmers to become more actively embedded in the agricultural innovation system. In addition, due to the increasing demand for adaptive extension services, there is need to interrogate extension as a process of enhancing the innovation goal. Using secondary and primary data, this paper interrogates Kenya’s extension service as part of agricultural innovation system. The case provides some empirical evidence to interrogate the inclusivity of extension approaches in reaching out rural communities especially women in the acquisition of services for innovation purpose. The study finds differences in extension approaches that can effectively stimulate innovation, particularly institutional innovation, in a sustainable and equitable way. In addition, approaches for delivery of advisory services are constrained by several factors that denote exclusivity or inclusivity more generally. The paper opens up a discussion around the role of context in helping unpack inclusivity in dynamic agricultural innovation systems.

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