Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 513995
Title Making sense of innovation processes in african smallholder agricullture
Author(s) Triomphe, B.; Floquet, A.; Kamau, G.; Letty, B.; Almekinders, C.J.M.; Waters-Bayer, A.
Source In: Innovation systems / Francis, J., Mytelka, L., van Huis, A., Röling, N., Wageningen : The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) - ISBN 9789290815617 - p. 170 - 182.
Department(s) Knowledge Technology and Innovation
Publication type Peer reviewed book chapter
Publication year 2016
Abstract The European-funded Framework Programme 7 project, Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture (JOLISAA), assessed agricultural innovation experiences focused on smallholders in Benin, Kenya, and South Africa. Fifty-six cases were characterized through review of grey literature and interviews with resource persons, according to a common analytical framework inspired by the innovation systems (IS) perspective. Thirteen of the cases were assessed in greater depth through semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions and multistakeholder workshops. The cases covered a wide diversity of experiences in terms of types, domains, scales, timelines, initiators of innovation and stakeholders involved. Findings revealed multiple triggers and drivers of innovation. For external stakeholders, key triggers included likelihood of offering a technological fix to an existing problem and availability of funding. For local people, access to input and output markets was a powerful trigger and driver. Market types and dynamics varied greatly. Developing functional value chains and accessing markets proved particularly challenging, especially for poorer and weakly organized farmers. Over long periods, determinants of innovation changed dynamically and often unpredictably, including motivations of key stakeholders, triggers, drivers and stakeholder arrangements. The direction of innovation evolved, often moving from a technology entry point to more organizational or institutional issues. A recurring challenge for fostering innovation is whether and how to build on local initiatives and knowledge, and how to sustain externally driven innovation processes beyond the project time frame. A major conclusion from JOLISAA is that innovation has to be seen as a continuously evolving process of ‘innovation bundles’ (a combination of different types of innovation) of various kinds, rather than as a pre-planned, and usually, narrowly-defined technical intervention. Consequently, open-ended, flexible approaches to innovation are needed with the potential to engage meaningfully over a long time with local stakeholders and bearers of local innovation dynamics, so that they take full charge of the innovation process and direction.
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