What does an inventory of recent innovation experiences tell us about agricultural innovation in Africa?

Triomphe Bernard, Floquet Anne, Kamau Geoffrey, Letty Brigid, Vodouhé Simplice Davo, Nganga Teresiah, Hocdé Henri. 2012. What does an inventory of recent innovation experiences tell us about agricultural innovation in Africa?. In : Producing and reproducing farming systems. New modes of organisation for sustainable food systems of tomorrow : 10th European IFSA Symposium, July 1-4, 2012, Aarhus, Denmark. IFSA. Vienne : IFSA, 10 p. European IFSA Symposium. 10, Aarhus, Danemark, 1 July 2012/4 July 2012.

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Abstract : Within the context of the FP7 JOLISAA project (JOint Learning in and about Innovation Systems in African Agriculture), an inventory of agricultural innovation experiences was developed in three African countries: Kenya, South Africa and Benin. The main objective was to assess a broad diversity of multi-stakeholder agricultural innovation processes involving smallholders. National teams used literature searches and interactions with a range of institutions and networks engaged in agricultural innovation to identify cases. Interviews with resource persons and field visits were also conducted to supplement the available / accessible documentation. The inventory was made according to a common analytical framework and guidelines inspired by the Innovation System perspective to allow for an analysis across cases and countries. The completed inventory includes 57 documented cases, covering a wide diversity of experiences, in terms of types, domains, scales and timelines of innovation. The 57 cases confirm previously documented features, such as the diversity of stakeholders involved in innovation, the diversity of innovation triggers, or also the frequent occurence of market driven innovation. It also illustrates more original features: the typically long time frames of innovation processes; the common occurrence of "innovation bundles" (a combination over time of technological, social and/or institutional innovations); and an often close relationship between innovation and externally-funded projects. National teams faced several challenges during the inventory process, including a common understanding and consistent use of key innovation-related concepts, and a difficult access to relevant information related partly to restrictions put by several case holders on sharing openly their experience. Out of the inventory, JOLISAA has selected thirteen cases which will undergo a subsequent phase of collaborative assessment. The assessment will strive to assess issues the inventory could not tackle, such as the actual roles and contributions of the various stakeholders, the dynamics of the innovation process, and the influence of the enabling environment on the innovation process and outcome. (Résumé d'auteur)

Classification Agris : E14 - Development economics and policies
A01 - Agriculture - General aspects

Auteurs et affiliations

  • Triomphe Bernard, CIRAD-ES-UMR INNOVATION (FRA)
  • Floquet Anne, UAC (BEN)
  • Kamau Geoffrey, KARI (KEN)
  • Letty Brigid, INR (ZAF)
  • Vodouhé Simplice Davo, UAC (BEN)
  • Nganga Teresiah, UAC (BEN)
  • Hocdé Henri, CIRAD-ES-UMR ART-DEV (FRA)

Source : Cirad - Agritrop (

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