1st Edition

Innovation Africa
Enriching Farmers' Livelihoods

ISBN 9781844076727
Published November 19, 2008 by Routledge
432 Pages

USD $70.95

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Book Description

Agricultural research, extension and education can contribute greatly to enhancing agricultural production in a sustainable way and to reducing poverty in the developing world, but achievements have generally fallen short of expectations in Africa. In recent years, growing economic and demographic pressures - coupled with the entry of new market forces and actors - have created a need and an opportunity for more interactive approaches to development. Understanding the existing innovation processes, recognizing the potential for catalysing them and learning how to support joint innovation by different groups will be the key to success. This book covers new conceptual and methodological developments in agricultural innovation systems, and showcases recent on-the-ground experiences in different contexts in Africa. The contributions show how innovation is the outcome of social learning through interaction of individuals and organizations in both creating and applying knowledge. It brings examples of how space and incentives have been created to promote collaboration between farmers, research, extension and the private sector to develop better technologies and institutional arrangements that can alleviate poverty. In 25 broad-ranging chapters the book reflects cutting-edge thinking and practice in support of innovation processes in agriculture and management of natural resources.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Peter Matlon 1: Innovation Africa: An Introduction Part I: Innovation Concepts and Methods 2: Conceptual and Methodological Developments in Innovation 3: Comparison of Frameworks for Studying Grassroots Innovation: Agricultural Innovation Systems and Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems 4: Applying the Innovation Systems Concept in the Field: Experiences of a Research Team in Uganda 5: Developing the Art and Science of Innovation Systems Enquiry: Alternative Tools and Methods, and Applications to Sub-Saharan African Agriculture Part II: Strengthening Social Capital in Agricultural Innovation Systems 6: Harnessing Local and Outsiders Knowledge: Experiences of a Multi-Stakeholder Partnership to Promote Farmer Innovation in Ethiopia 7: An Innovation System in the Rangelands: Using Collective Action to Diversify Livelihoods among Se.led Pastoralists in Ethiopia 8: Social Networks and Status in Adopting Agricultural Technologies and Practices among Small-Scale Farmers in Uganda 9: From Participation to Partnership: A Different Way for Researchers to Accompany Innovation Processes - Challenges and Difficulties Part III: Policy, Institutional and Market-led Innovation 10: Participatory Analysis of the Potato Knowledge and Information System in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda 11: Enabling Rural Innovation: Empowering Farmers to Take Advantage of Market Opportunities and Improve Livelihoods 12: Doing Things Differently: Post-Harvest Innovation Learning Alliances in Tanzania and Zimbabwe 13: Alternative Funding Mechanisms for Local Innovation Systems 14: Tracking Outcomes of Social and Institutional Innovations in Natural Resource Management Part IV: Local Innovation Processes 15: Recognizing and Enhancing Processes of Local Innovation 16: Building Institutions for Endogenous Development: Using Local Knowledge as a Bridge 17: Village Information and Communication Centres in Rwanda 18: Farmer Field Schools for Rural Empowerment and Life-Long Learning in Integrated Nutrient Management: Experiences in Eastern and Central Kenya 19: From Strangler to Nourisher: How Novice Rice Farmers Turned Challenges into Opportunities Part V: Building Capacity for Joint Innovation 20: Strengthening Inter-Institutional Capacity for Rural Innovation: Experience from Uganda, Kenya and South Africa 21: Building Competencies for Innovation in Agricultural Research: A Synthesis of Experiences and Lessons from Uganda 22: Shaping Agricultural Research for Development to Africa s Needs: Building South African Capacity to Innovate 23: Going to Scale with Facilitation for Change: Developing Competence to Facilitate Community Emancipation and Innovation in South Africa 24: Building Capacity for Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation: Integrating Stakeholders Perspectives 25: Innovation Africa: Beyond Rhetoric to Praxis Index

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Pascal Sanginga is a Senior Programme Specialist in Rural Poverty and Environment at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), based in Nairobi, Kenya. Previously, he was a Senior Social Scientist with the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and a Research Fellow with the Participatory Research and Gender Analysis Systemwide Programme on the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), hosted by the Africa Highlands Initiative. His research and publications focus on rural innovation systems, social capital and multistakeholder processes for social learning and environmental governance.

Ann Waters-Bayer is an agricultural sociologist in the EcoCulture unit of the Netherlands-based nongovernmental research and development organisation ETC Foundation. She focuses on psychological and institutional aspects of participatory approaches to research and communication. She is a member of the International Support Team for PROLINNOVA (PROmoting Local INNOVAtion in ecologically-oriented agriculture and natural resource management), a Global Partnership Programme of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) that operates through country and regional programmes in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Susan Kaaria is a Program Officer for Environment and Economic Development, in the Eastern Africa Office of the Ford Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya. She has a background in forest resource economics and agricultural economics. Prior to joining the Foundation, she was a Senior Scientist with CIAT, based in Kampala, Uganda, where she developed innovative participatory approaches to increasing access to, engagement in and benefits from local, national and regional markets by poor and marginalised communities.

Jemimah Njuki is a Senior Scientist with CIAT, based in Harare, Zimbabwe. She has a background in rural development and has been working on participatory monitoring and evaluation systems to improve decision-making, organisational learning and change. She is also involved in gender research in Eastern and Southern Africa.

Chesha Wettasinha is an agriculturist in the EcoCulture unit of ETC Foundation. She has over 20 years' experience in agriculture and natural resource management, combining technical, social and organisational aspects of research and development. She currently specialises in capacity building in participatory innovation development, process documentation and editing of journals and books to make relevant field experiences accessible for wider sharing and learning. She is a member of the International Support Team for PROLINNOVA.


'Innovation by, with and for farmers in Africa is one of the major contemporary challenges of development. This book will be essential reading for anyone interested in these issues.' Professor Ian Scoones, Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK 'This book takes the theme of innovation, and its mainstreaming in research and extension, a major step forward. I am impressed by the wide range of subjects and the diversity of authors.' Chris Reij, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands 'The book is strongly recommended to agricultural scientists, university teachers, agricultural research managers and extension staff.' Experimental Agriculture