1. Innovation Systems: Towards Effective Strategies in support of Smallholder Farmers

    This publication provides a collection of papers, commentaries, expert opinions and reflections on state-of-the-art innovation systems thinking and approaches in agriculture. It is the direct output of a CTA and WUR/CoS-SIS collaboration which had its genesis in an expert consultation on ‘Innovation Systems: Towards Effective Strategies in support of Smallholder Farmers’. Practitioners and scholars involved in academic, research, training and development programmes came together to map the diversities and commonalities in applying the concept in agriculture and chart the way forward for informing policy and practice.

  2. 1,000 Digital Village Initiative. An initiative to expand digital innovations in rural villages for inclusive rural and agrifood systems transformation

    Digitalization and internet use are transforming every aspect of our lives. Digital technologies are profoundly changing how we grow food, pack it, transport it and even shop for food. Digitalization and use of digital data, applications, and platforms are opening new possibilities for developing and restructuring the agrifood system. Digital agriculture is turning to digitalizing agrifood, rural economy, and rural societies. This report introduces the FAO Digital Village Initiative, which aims to facilitate through knowledge and information. It approaches countries and communities to develop, accelerate and deploy digital technologies in rural villages and communities. The report introduces the Digital Village Ecosystem approach. It describes an instrument (tool) to gather information and provide a village ecosystem assessment to help generate recommendations for future interventions to deploy beneficial, inclusive, and affordable digital innovations by rural residents. The DVE approach identifies five core attributes: basic infrastructure, demand and needs of digital services (from end-user), enabling services, digital supply possibilities, economic and business sustainability, and finally, local ownership of the proposed or piloted digital village innovations. The DVE approach is currently being implemented in 8 countries covering over 100 digital villages (covering a wide range of digital readiness statuses from emerging up to smart villages). The report provides a summary of a sample of digital village cases under DVE assessment. Results of the DVE assessments and recommended follow-up action by country will be released in future reports.

  3. Tracking the Value of an Innovation through the New Product Development Process: The IrriSat Family of Agricultural Decision Support System Tools

    The paper describes an attempt to improve the uptake of a new agricultural Decision Support System (aDSS). The approach was to design it with an understanding of the successes and failures of predecessors and of the changes in patterns of relevant technology use over time, the “usage context”. Even though its predecessor, IrriSatSMS, showed great potential in pilot seasons, that system failed to be commercialised successfully. An investigation into whether this failure can be attributed to “technicentric design” – an aDSS problem lamented by many authors of papers on aDSS in the 2000s – is undertaken. Some relevant aspects of the design of the new aDSS system, IrriSat, are outlined to illustrate how some of the commercialisation issues faced by IrriSatSMS and other aDSS may be overcome. Important considerations impacting the usage and uptake of aDSS include the changing landscape of IT, digital agricultural data and farming lifestyle since the 2000s. Finally, remaining and emerging issues faced by systems like IrriSat, are considered.

    These considerations indicate that while commercialising a new aDSS is always going to be risky for an organisation, particular aDSS design choices that are now available, such as the use of cloud computing, can reduce running costs and staffing effort significantly, thus substantially reducing that risk for certain aDSS types. Also evident is that a step change in IT use in farming since the first trials of IrriSatSMS, in Australia at least, has seen the evaporation of many issues that once plagued aDSS use regarding farmers’ interactions with IT systems. However, new issues, such as data deluge, have surfaced. With these technology and technology usage changes, I conclude that the pessimism shown in aDSS papers in the 2000s was based on factors that are no longer dominant in the aDSS landscape; a paradigm shift has occurred. However, the new paradigm has its own issues. Experience in other areas indicates that this paradigm’s issues can also be overcome and thus the future for aDSS in general, and perhaps IrriSat specifically, looks bright. A number of challenges are revealed that can impact the development and commercialisation of new products. Central among them is the importance of tracking changes in the usage context of, and therefore competition for, the new product, and related impacts on product value to the user.

  4. Factors associated with farmers’ use of fee-for-service advisors in a privatized agricultural extension system

    The privatization of agricultural advisory and extension services in many countries and the associated pluralism of service providers has renewed interest in farmers’ use of fee-for-service advisors. Understanding farmers’ use of advisory services is important, given the role such services are expected to play in helping farmers address critical environmental and sustainability challenges. This paper aims to identify factors associated with farmers’ use of fee-for service advisors and bring fresh conceptualization to this topic. Drawing on concepts from service ecosystems in agricultural innovation and using the theory of planned behavior to define a plausible directed acyclic graph, we conducted a cross-sectional study of 1003 Australian farmers and their use of fee-for service advisors, analyzing data using generalized ordinal logistic regression models. We defined three categories: farmers who used fee-for-service advisors as their main source of advice (‘main source'), farmers who used them but did not consider them their main source of advice (‘non-main source’), and farmers who did not use them (‘non-user’). The factors most strongly associated with use of fee-for-service advisors (both as 'main source' and 'non-main source') were: the farm being in a growth/expanding business stage; behavioral beliefs that paying for advice provides control and helps identify new opportunities in farming; endorsement of paying for advice from others in the farm business and farmer peers; attitudes relating to the benefit and value for money from advice; and perceived behavioral control related to confidence in accessing advice. These findings can inform strategies to enable use of fee-for-service advisors. For example, they highlight the need to increase the social acceptance of paying for advice and to assist advisors to better articulate the value of their services in terms that farmers view as important. Currently, mechanisms for professionalizing and certifying advisory services are a focus for policy makers in enabling farmers’ use of advisors. Our findings indicate that these mechanisms on their own would not necessarily lead to greater use of fee-for-service advice, because use is also based on several social and attitudinal factors in addition to perception of quality. Greater emphasis on the social and attitudinal factors found in this study is required when developing strategies to enable the use of fee-for-service advisors.

  5. An Investigation of Social Media's Roles in Knowledge Exchange by Farmers

    Social media (SM) such as Twitter and Facebook are new communication tools for rural communities, and SM has enabled the creation of rural social networks. Increased use by farmers of 'mobile digital devices' and better rural access to broadband services have enhanced so that SM is being used to support farming decisions. However, in depth studies on how SM is used for knowledge sharing amongst farmers and the role of rural professionals (e.g. advisors) in this space is an emergent field with limited literature. There is a need to understand more about the roles SM play in farmer decision-making and agricultural innovation more broadly. Is farmer participation oriented to strategic, tactical or operational farm decision making? Little is known about differences in participation between farmers and rural professionals or about learning processes and knowledge creation in these virtual spaces. Does SM create spaces where participants engage on an equitable, trust forming and self-directed basis? What is the composition and global reach of these media networks? How rapidly and flexibly do they form, disband and reconfigure? To answer these questions, research methods used included 'Twitter Scraping software' and tools such as 'Twitonomy' to mine data off selected Twitter accounts and farmer forums. Also, online pasture based dairy farmer groups were examined in the Facebook study

  6. Money talk: How relations between farmers and advisors around financial management are shaped

    The nature of interactions between farmers and advisors is the focus of a growing body of research. While many studies explore the potential role of advisors in facilitating farmers' practice change in practices related to agricultural production such as soil, water, pest and animal health management, studies that specifically investigate how advisors support farmers with financial management (FM) are limited. The contribution this paper makes is to identify who farmers' FM advisors are and to shed light on how farmer-advisor interactions about FM are shaped. Semi-structured interviews with both farmers and a range of advisors (bankers, accountants, farm management consultants, specialist financial advisors and industry funded advisors) were conducted. The main findings are that farm financial information and FM are considered to be sensitive topics and being good at FM is not central to farmers' identity (relative to e.g. production management)

  7. Agri-food systems innovation: Pathways to impact

    The purpose of this brief is to open up a conversation on this topic, to draw in a wider set of perspectives, and to explore collaboration opportunities. In particular the meeting aims (i) to identify limitations and missed impact opportunities of current agri-food innovation systems; (ii) to explore the nature of frameworks and tools needed to advance innovation and impact; and (iii) to develop a road map on how these could be co-developed to best meet the needs of different stakeholder groups

  8. Transformative innovation: What do applied innovation studies look like?

    Research and analysis of agricultural innovation processes and policies over the last 20 years has made a major contribution to scholarship on and the understanding of the nature of innovation. To an important, but much lesser degree this has also led to re-framing practice at the research-innovation interface. Innovation studies (for want of a better word), like many branches of science, finds that it needs to deliver solutions across the full spectrum of discovery (concepts and theories) to application in both policy and practice domains. There is, however, a shift in the center of gravity of the discipline to a much more applied role, particularly where the discipline is housed as a value adding capability within applied research and innovation organisations like CSIRO, AgResearch New Zealand and possibly the CGIAR also. This observation highlights a critical design challenge in a research and action program being developed on Transformational Pathways for New Zealand agriculture

  9. Programmes, projects and learning inquiries: Institutional mediation of innovation in research for development

    This paper explores innovation processes and institutional change within research for development (R4D). It draws on learning by Australian participants associated with the implementation of a three-year Australian-funded food security R4D programme in Africa, and in particular a sub-component designed to support and elicit this learning. The authors critically examine this attempt at institutional innovation via the creation of a 'learning project' (LP) in a larger programme. For systemic innovation to be achieved, it is concluded that the system of concern must envisage institutional innovation and change within the donor and external research organizations as well as with project recipients and collaborative partners. Institutional constraints and opportunities are explored, including how the overall approach to learning in this programme could have been reframed as an organizational innovation platform (IP), designing, managing and evaluating IPs at different systemic levels of governance – including within the collaborative programme with African partners, in the constituent in-country projects, in the collaborating Australian organizations and at the level of personal practice

  10. Why Australia needs to become Asia's innovation partner

    This brief discusses the emergence of Asia as a hotpot of innovation and the implications for Australia's own innovation capacity

  11. Impact of systems modelling on agronomic research and adoption of new practices in smallholder agriculture

    An analysis of the impact of simulation modelling in three diverse crop-livestock improvement projects in Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) reveals benefits across a range of aspects including identification of objectives, design and implementation of experimental programs, effectiveness of participatory research with smallholder farmers, implementation of system change and scaling-out of results. In planning change, farmers must consider complex interactions within both biophysical and socioeconomic aspects of their crop and animal production activities. For this, whole-farm models that include household models of food, workload and financial requirements have the most utility and impact. The analysis also proposes improvements in design and implementation of AR4D projects to improve the utility of simulation modelling for securing positive agronomic and livestock outcomes and lasting legacies

  12. Systemic problems affecting co-innovation in the New Zealand Agricultural Innovation System: Identification of blocking mechanisms and underlying institutional logics

    This study identifies systemic problems in the New Zealand Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) in relation to the AIS capacity to enact a co-innovation approach, in which all relevant actors in the agricultural sector contribute to combined technological, social and institutional change. Systemic problems are factors that negatively influence the direction and speed of co-innovation and impede the development and functioning of innovation systems. The contribution in the paper is twofold. Firstly, it combines both innovation system functions and systemic problems in an integrated analysis to asses an AIS at a country level, which has not been done previously in AIS literature. Secondly, it deepens the generic literature on structural-functional innovation systems analysis by looking at the interconnectedness between systemic problems and how these create core blocking mechanisms linked to the prevalent institutional logics (historically built-up and persistent structures and institutional arrangements) of the AIS

  13. Agricultural extension in transition worldwide: Policies and strategies for reform (2020)

    This publication contains twelve modules which cover a selection of major reform measures in agricultural extension being promulgated and implemented internationally, such as linking farmers to markets, making advisory services more demand-driven, promoting pluralistic advisory systems, and enhancing the role of advisory services within agricultural innovation systems. The reform issues consider the changing roles of the various public, private and non-governmental providers, and highlights the collaboration required to create synergies for more efficient and effective high quality services responding to the needs and demands of smallholder farmers. This is a substantially updated version of the 2009 publication of the same title, but with only nine modules. These nine modules were restructured and up-dated, and three modules were added. The layout of the modules changed to allow a better overview for the reader

  14. Improving the adoption of agricultural sustainability tools: A comparative analysis

    The implementation and ongoing adoption of agricultural sustainability tools are challenging and not well addressed in the literature on sustainability assessment. Co-production of sustainability assessment and reporting systems between researchers and stakeholders has been promoted to increase the successful adoption of sustainability tools. Scientific attention has focused primarily on the development of sustainability assessment tools and has given less attention to the factors that encourage or discourage adoption and implementation. This paper provides ex-post reflections of the critical success factors, barriers, and lessons learned from the development of nine sustainability tools by the New Zealand Sustainability Dashboard Project (NZSDP) over six years of research and across multiple case studies

  15. Collaborating across institutional and jurisdictional boundaries: enabling the emergence of a national innovation system through public knowledge management

    Public institutions involved in research that aims to strengthen the productivity, profitability and adaptiveness of industries face a multiplicity of challenges when managing for the emergence of cost effective solutions to problems. We reflect upon the learnings of a Government sponsored Visiting Fellow’s programme that we describe as a knowledge management (KM) intervention within Australia’s primary industries Research, Development and Extension (R, D and E) system. Our central concern is to draw upon the learnings of an internet-based initiative in the United States called eXtension to show how ‘traditional’ D and E activities can be transformed

  16. Lessons for co-innovation in agricultural innovation systems: a multiple case study analysis and a conceptual model

    This paper highlights important lessons for co-innovation drawn from three ex-post case study innovation projects implemented within three sub-sectors of the primary industry sector in New Zealand. Design/methodology/approach: The characteristics that fostered co-innovation in each innovation project case study were identified from semi-structured interviews conducted with key stakeholders in each project, iterative discussions to confirm the findings and secondary document analysis. Common themes from the three cases are examined in relation to innovation system structure and function analysis and agricultural innovation system (AIS) literature. This study builds on the literature attempting to overcome methodological challenges in the applied AIS research space

  17. Smallholder Farmer Perceptions of Postharvest Loss and Its Determinants in Fijian Tomato Value Chains

    The Fiji Islands, like many small Pacific island nations, are thought to incur high rates of postharvest loss. Little work has been undertaken to quantify the amount of loss within Pacific horticultural value chains, or identify the key determinants. This study sought to quantify postharvest loss within Fijian smallholder tomato value chains and to examine the relative importance of current on-farm practices as possible contributors to this loss. A semi-structured survey of 115 smallholder tomato farmers in Sigatoka Valley and eastern Viti Levu was undertaken, covering socio-economic and demographic parameters, production and postharvest handling practice, and postharvest loss based on farmer recall

  18. Introduced Conservation Agriculture Programs in Samoa: The Role of Participatory Action Research

    Millions of dollars have been invested in programs to encourage the adoption of sustainable farming practices associated with conservation agriculture (CA), including programs aimed at Samoan farmers. However, many smallholder farmers, including those in Samoa did not adopt the recommended practices. CA programs aimed at Samoan farmers were investigated, and participatory action research about the most recent program was conducted. Eight key informant interviews, 107 semi-structured interviews, a ranking exercise involving farmers and extension officers and participant observations were completed during 2016–2017. The results provide a description of agricultural farming practices across Samoan villages; details about the role of agriculture in these villages and information on the differences between various stakeholders. Samoan farmers use CA practices and all previous CA programs prescribed practices that were not consistent with their current practices or goals. Donors, national policy makers and researchers drive top-down programs with limited term projects that focus on outputs or short-term outcomes. To alter a country’s agricultural sector, particularly one dominated by smallholder farmers, it requires investment in long-term outcomes supported by a participatory action research process that ensures co-creation activities, reflexive feedback loops and cooperative buy-in approaches be given top priority

  19. Digitalisation of agricultural knowledge and advice networks: A state-of-the-art review

    Digitalisation is widely regarded as having the potential to provide productivity and sustainability gains for the agricultural sector. However, there are likely to be broader implications arising from the digitalisation of agricultural innovation systems. Agricultural knowledge and advice networks are important components of agricultural innovation systems that have the potential to be digitally disrupted. In this paper, trends were reviewed within agricultural knowledge and advice networks both internationally and in Australia, to anticipate and prepare for potential transformations in these networks

  20. Digitalisation in the New Zealand Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System: Initial understandings and emerging organisational responses to digital agriculture

    Digital agriculture is likely to transform productive processes both on- and off- farm, as well as the broader social and institutional context using digital technologies. It is largely unknown how agricultural knowledge providing organisations, such as advisors and science organisations, understand and respond to digital agriculture. The concept of ‘organisational identity’ is used to describe both initial understandings of, and emerging responses, to digital agriculture, which together show how organisations ‘digi-grasp’, i.e. make sense of and enact digitalisation in their organisations. The understanding is described using aspects of identity change (i.e. the nature, pace, source and context of digital agriculture), while the responses are outlined through the various attributes of organisational identity (i.e. capabilities, practices, services, clients, partners, purpose and values). This study explore this question in the context of New Zealand through 29 semi-structured interviews with different types of agricultural knowledge providers, including farm advisors, science organisations, as well as technology providers. The findings show that digitalisation is often understood as farm-centric, despite being considered disruptive both on- and off-farm. These understandings influence an organisation’s digitalisation responses to digital agriculture. The responses were often ad-hoc, starting with adapting organisational capabilities, practices and services as their clients and partners require, rather than a strategic approach allowing for more flexibility of roles and processes and changing business models. The ad-hoc approach appears to be a response to uncertainty as digital agriculture is in early stages of development

  21. Conceptualising the DAIS: Implications of the ‘Digitalisation of Agricultural Innovation Systems’ on technology and policy at multiple levels

    As digitalisation transforms agriculture, the implications of cumulative innovation processes are essential to consider in order to mitigate risk and capitalise on opportunities. One project that involves imagining the future of the sector and aims to develop the necessary tools and infrastructure is the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Digiscape Future Science Platform (FSP). This paper explores the policy framework encompassing these technologies and elucidates considerations for future governance in Australia and beyond. Conceptually, we draw on Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) theorisation in the context of implications of digital technological development on policy. Methodologically, we utilise multi-level exploratory interviews with Digiscape FSP and prawn aquaculture value chain stakeholders. We argue society is at a critical point in time when the implications of digital agriculture need to be considered at broader regime and landscape levels. Questions around data privacy and ownership are prevalent in agricultural settings, although appropriate institutional guidance is lacking. Three propositions are made as a result of the analysis of scoping research involving innovation community stakeholders

  22. Unpacking systemic innovation capacity as strategic ambidexterity: How projects dynamically configure capabilities for agricultural innovation

    This paper details the analytical framework used for developing a nested understanding of systemic innovation capacity in an AIS. The paper then introduces the two case studies, along with the data and methods of analysis, followed by a presentation of the results as timelines of configurations of capabilities at different levels of the AIS. The case studies indicate that systemic innovation capacity constitutes configuring capabilities and resources at different levels of the AIS to leverage positive project path dependencies and break negative path dependencies due to historical capability configurations. Both case studies also simultaneously exploited existing innovation capabilities and resources, as well as using adaptive capability for exploring and creating new capability configurations to respond to emerging circumstances. We conclude with reflections and implications for theory and practice, arguing that innovation projects should have so-called strategic ambidexterity to combine exploiting existing and exploring new networks to access, combine, create, or disconnect capabilities

  23. The development of Conservation Agriculture in Australia—Farmers as innovators

    The Australian story of farmer innovation in Conservation Agriculture reveals a complex interplay of policy, economics, science, and farming. Farmer experimentation with Conservation Agriculture began in the 1960's and has continued to this day where around 80%-90% of Australia's 23.5 million hectares of winter crops are now grown using Conservation Agriculture principles. This remarkable achievement is the result of both sustained investment in agricultural research and development and farmer innovation. Australian economic settings and science policies have encouraged and facilitated farmer participation in the Conservation Agricultural innovation system. Australian farmers have embraced Conservation Agriculture because it has met their needs, maintaining productivity and profitability in the face of declining terms of trade, and sustainably intensifying production with enhanced environmental outcomes. Drawing on individual farmer case studies, the specific strengths of farmer innovation are identified and the enabling conditions necessary for farmer innovation to flourish are discussed.

  24. Supporting and practising digital innovation with advisers in smart farming

    In this paper is presented insights from a co-design process with private farm advisers and ask: What enables farm advisers to engage with digital innovation? And, how can digital innovation be supported and practiced in smart farming contexts? Digital innovation presents challenges for farmers and advisers due to the new relationships, skills, arrangements, techniques and devices required to realise value for farm production and profitability from digital tools and services. It is showed how a co-design process supported farm advisers to adapt their routine advisory practices through recognising and engaging with the social, material and symbolic practices of digiware in smart farming. We demonstrate the need to recognise ‘digiware as constituted in and by heterogeneous practices from which possibilities for digital innovation emerge. These possibilities include the increased capacity of farm advisers to identify the value proposition of smart farming tools and services for theirs and their clients’ businesses, and the adaptation of advisory services in ways that harnass and mobilise diverse skills, knowledge/s, materials and representations for translating digital data, digital infrastructure and digital capacities into better decisions for farm management

  25. Making sense in the cloud: Farm advisory services in a smart farming future

    This paper addresses this gap by examining the nature of disruption to farm advisors from data-driven smart farming and identifies the challenges and opportunities. The authors aim to better theorize smart farming innovation by examining the advisory role to provide insights for technology developers, and policy directions for governments in relation to supporting uptake of farming innovations. To achieve this aim they ask: how are farmers and advisors interacting with data-driven smart farming, and what are the implications for farm advisor capability and roles in a future where farmers use more data-driven smart farming? In this paper, is proposed propose a conceptual framework before analyzing the experiences of farmers and advisors in the context of three data-driven smart farming case studies in Australia and NZ. In the discussion, we reflect on potential changes in advisory services needed to enable farmers to capture greater value from the use of data-driven smart farming

  26. Navigating shades of social capital and trust to leverage opportunities for rural innovation

    This paper makes a contribution to understanding the impact of relational trust, as embodied within bonding, bridging and linking social capital, on rural innovation. Using cases of multi-stakeholder groups who work together on shared problems it explores how social capital and different forms of trust (companion, competence and commitment) influence rural innovation processes. Looking at both the ‘bright’ and ‘dark’ side of social capital, our focus is on how social capital and trust constrain and enable the process of innovation. A main theoretical implication of this study is that a better understanding of social capital and trust is needed to enable innovation facilitators and project managers to design and undertake fixed term rural innovation projects effectively

  27. Navigating shades of social capital and trust to leverage opportunities for rural innovation

    This paper makes a contribution to understanding the impact of relational trust, as embodied within bonding, bridging and linking social capital, on rural innovation. Using cases of multi-stakeholder groups who work together on shared problems it explores how social capital and different forms of trust (companion, competence and commitment) influence rural innovation processes. Looking at both the ‘bright’ and ‘dark’ side of social capital, our focus is on how social capital and trust constrain and enable the process of innovation. A main theoretical implication of this study is that a better understanding of social capital and trust is needed to enable innovation facilitators and project managers to design and undertake fixed term rural innovation projects effectively.

  28. Addressing complex challenges using a co-innovation approach: lessons from five case studies in the New Zealand primary sector

    In this article it is analysed the results of applying a co-innovation approach to five research projects in the New Zealand primary sector. The projects varied in depth and breadth of stakeholder engagement, availability of ready-made solutions, and prevalence of interests and conflicts. The projects show how and why co-innovation approaches in some cases contributed to a shared understanding of complex problems. Our results confirm the context-specificity of co-innovation practices

  29. Systemic problems hampering innovation in the New Zealand Agricultural Innovation System

    This study identifies systemic problems in the New Zealand Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) that affect the ability of participants in the agricultural sectors to co-develop technologies. We integrate structural and functional streams of innovation system enquiry, gathering data through 30 semi-structured interviews with individuals in Government, industry and research. Interviews explored perceptions of the influence of actors, interactions, institutions, infrastructure, and market structure on the effectiveness of AIS functions. Examples of systemic problems were: (i) a lack of facilitative and transformational leadership and systemic intermediaries to support the formation of strategic innovation agendas in vertically and horizontally fragmented industries; (ii) a culture of hunting for funding within research organisations; hindering sustained involvement of researchers in innovation, (iii) a large number of actors in the R&D component of the AIS competing for public resources to pursue uncoordinated innovation agendas; and (iv) a lack of institutional support for interactions between actors and roles that support interactions, such as innovation platforms and innovation brokers

  30. Facilitating the collaboration of practitioner and scientific knowledge: experiences from an Australian action research intervention

    This paper presents results from an action research intervention aimed at strengthening the role of private sector advisers in the Australian agricultural extension system. Private sector advisers participating in the research identified a number of barriers to their effective inclusion in this system. For example, in the traditionally science-centric Australian extension system, persisting industry-led funding structures and processes are perceived as having a ‘gatekeeping function’ when it comes to the setting of practice-based research priorities and therefore the further development and uptake of potential innovations from practice. The paper describes the implementation of a shared knowledge management intervention. Based on principles of action research and collaborative design, participants jointly developed knowledge management processes aimed at breaking sectoral silos (public, private; research and practice) by bringing together a variety of actors in the agricultural knowledge system in two specific case study settings

  31. The 'Digitalisation of Agricultural Innovation Systems': governing the DAIS and exploring the prawn aquaculture value chain

    The policy implications of cumulative innovation are essential to consider in order to mitigate risk and capitalise on opportunities as digitalisation transforms agriculture. One project that involves imagining the future of the sector and aims to develop the necessary tools and infrastructure is the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Digiscape Future Science Platform (FSP). This paper explores the policy framework encompassing these tools and elucidates considerations for future governance in Australia. Conceptually, we draw on Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) theorisation in the context of implications of digital technological development on policy. Methodologically, we utilise exploratory interviews with project stakeholders and members of the prawn aquaculture value chain

  32. Triggering system innovation in agricultural innovation systems: Initial insights from a Community for Change in New Zealand

    This paper describes a process for stimulating this engagement to develop a shared understanding of systemic problems, challenge prevalent institutional logics, and identify individual and collective actions that change agents might undertake to stimulate system innovation. To achieve this the process included (i) multiple actors from the agricultural innovation systems, (ii) steps to prompt reflexivity to challenge underlying institutional logics, (iii) an iterative process of practical experimentation to challenge current practices, and (iv) actions to encourage generative collaboration. Problem structuring was used to support potential change agents to develop a shared understanding of three systemic problems and understand the role that inter-relationships, perspectives and boundaries play in reinforcing or destabilising current practices and institutional logics

  33. Evaluating a space for co-innovation: the practical application of nine principles for co-innovation in five innovation projects

    Primary Innovation is a five year collaborative initiative demonstrating and evaluating co-innovation, a systemic approach to innovation addressing complex problems, in five ‘innovation projects’ (active case studies) in different agricultural industries. In defining the elements of co-innovation, Primary Innovation has emphasised nine principles which guide activity in the innovation projects. To understand how useful the nine principles were in guiding practice, and their influence on co-innovation, innovation project participants assessed and reflected on: how the principles were applied in practice; issues that arose; how each influenced the project; and how important each principle was perceived as being in influencing project outcomes. Data were captured and summarised in an on-line survey

  34. Enrolling advisers in governing privatised agricultural extension in Australia: challenges for the innovation system

    This paper is an inquiry into the process of setting up a national, multi-stakeholder project collaboration aimed at stimulating the role of the private sector in the Australian agricultural extension and innovation systems. Following description of the project’s action research design and use of a theoretical framework adapted from agricultural innovation systems (AIS) scholarship, the paper discusses the challenges the project faces in pursuing its aim of establishing an innovation platform to reframe current RD&E practices and governance arrangements towards an enhanced agricultural innovation system based on the collaboration of multiple actors. The paper describes these emergent challenges and initial project responses. In this way, the paper addresses the project as an ‘innovation platform in action’, offering to progress understanding of how to advance the establishment of innovation platforms within situated AIS more widely

  35. Evaluating for learning and accountability in system innovation: Incorporating reflexivity in a logical framework

    In this paper its argued that when flexibly applied and adapted to capture dynamics typical in systems innovation projects, the Log Frame Approach (LFA) ( and logical frameworks have considerable utility to support evaluation for both learning and accountability, and for identifying and addressing institutional logics, which leads to system innovation. We demonstrate this for the case of Primary Innovation, and compare our experiences with the limitations and solutions suggested by  when applying logic models, logical frameworks, programme theories or theories of change as part of an 'adapted accountability framework'

  36. Governance of market-oriented fresh food value chains: export chains from New Zealand

    The aim of this study is to explore how the governance of a global food value chain can facilitate the value chain’s market orientation. The study applies a multiple case study design. Four in-depth case studies were conducted on global food value chains from New Zealand to Western Europe dealing with the products apples, kiwis, venison and lamb. Interviews were conducted with actors from these four value chains in the Netherlands as well as in New Zealand. In each value chain actors with similar functions were interviewed in order to make the results comparable. Analysis of the case studies shows that network governance (i.e. leadership, shared governance and facilitation), contractual agreements (i.e. type and content: price, volume, quality) and informal relationships (i.e. trust and commitment) can contribute to the market orientation of a value chain.

  37. Food Value Chain Coordination in Practice: European and Australian Case Studies of the Creation of Chain Good Innovations

    In this paper four mini-case studies are presented which demonstrate the breadth of past collective actions that have been undertaken by a substantial proportion of businesses in food value chains, two in Europe and two in Australia. These are (1) the Euro Pool System, (2) Global Standards certification in Europe and globally,
    (3) Meat Standards Australia, and (4) the OBE Beef organic producer alliance in Australia. Each case study yields insights into the rationale of how businesses in different food value chains in different countries have acted as a club to use their joint resources to internalise positive innovation and coordination externalities that
    would not have been possible to achieve were these businesses to act independently

  38. Enhancing next-generation ACP agribusiness through digitalisation

    This is one of the briefs produced by 30 digital agribusiness practitioners from CTA, its networks and partners to document and assess ways that digital solutions improve the performance, competitiveness and profitability of agribusinesses in ACP countries. Drawing on experiences and cases shared by participants during the workshop zoomed in on real cases to draw out critical insights and lessons – actionable knowledge – that can be used more widely ‘digital solutions improve the performance, competitiveness and profitability of agribusinesses in ACP countries

  39. CTA 2018 - A year in review: Accelerating Agricultural Transformation

    This report brings a review about the CTA activities in 2018 based on three intervention areas. One is promoting youth entrepreneurship and creating employment for young people, particularly through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The second, digitalisation, cuts across all intervention areas and focuses on the application of digital technologies to transform business models and provide new revenue throughout agricultural value chains. The third focuses on building farmers’ resilience to climate change through the promotion of climate-smart agricultural practices

  40. A learning journey to the Kingdom of Tonga: Accelerating transformative change in nutrition-sensitive value chains in Pacific islands: Promoting nutritious food systems in the Pacific islands

    This publication describes the activities carried out in the tripartite event ‘Transforming Nutrition-Sensitive Value Chain Development in the Pacific Islands.” It was implemented by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) in collaboration with MORDI Tonga Trust, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisation (PIPSO). The document starts discussing the main events and field trips that were realized after talk about the lessons learned and in the end brings some case studies and sucess stories.

  41. Public Agricultural Research in an Era of Transformation: The Challenge of Agri-Food System Innovation - Resource Document I: Case studies

    This document is accompanyng the volume Public Agricultural Research in an Era of Transformation: The Challenge of Agri-Food System Innovation (available in TAPipedia here), which provides some of the groundwork in answering the question of how the CGIAR system and other public agricultural research organisations should adapt and respond to an era of transformation framed by the SDGs.

    The case studies presented in full in this accompanying document are based on secondary information (journal articles, grey literature, published evaluations). The emphasis in the case studies is the description of events and the presentation of evidence rather than interpretation through any particular conceptual perspective. The preparation of each case study was guided by an outline with the following sections: introduction, challenge or opportunity being tackled, description of the innovation, innovation pathway, impact evidence and consequences.


    Case studies:

    1. Australian Cotton Industry
    2. Environmental Management, Cotton Industry, Australia
    3. Barleymax™
    4. East African Dairy Development Project’s Dairy Hubs
    5. East Coast Fever Infection And Treatment Method
    6. Foot And Mouth Disease Eradication In The Philippines
    7. Forage In Indonesia
    8. Golden Rice
    9. Marine Stewardship Council
    10. Mass Marketing Of The Treadle Pump In Bangladesh
    11. Novacq™
    12. Orange Fleshed Sweet Potato In Sub-Saharan Africa
    13. Rural Water Use Efficiency, Queensland
    14. Salmon Production In Chile
    15. Sundrop Farms, Australia
    16. Thai Poultry Exports
  42. Getting to Impact: Reconciling Logframes with Theories of Change

    Accountability pressure to demonstrate how research for development projects will bridge the ‘output - outcome gap’ and achieve impacts ‘at scale’ has increased. Consequently, efforts to develop ‘Theory of Change’ (ToC) and impact pathways that steer programs and projects to outcomes have grown within Australia’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) strategy. In response, the cross agency Food Systems Innovation (FSI) initiative piloted the use of ToC thinking within Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR). FSI was invited to engage with the large ACIAR-managed Sustainable and Resilient Farming System Intensification (SRFSI) project running from 2014 to 2018 in the Eastern Gangetic Plains. Reviewers of the SRFSI proposal suggested that the project needed strengthening in terms of achieving institutional change and widespread impact. ToC thinking was introduced to SRFSI’s partners during the FSI Symposium and strategic planning meetings and workshops were held in-country.

  43. Innovative practice in connecting small-scale producers with dynamic markets

    This paper synthesizes Component 2 of the Regoverning Markets Programme. It is based on 38 empirical case studies where small-scale farmers and businesses connected successfully to dynamic markets, doing business with agri-processors and supermarkets. The studies aimed to derive models, strategies and policy principles to guide public and private sector actors in promoting greater participation of small-scale producers in dynamic markets. This publication forms part of the Regoverning Markets project.

  44. 2017 Global Food Policy Report

    IFPRI’s flagship report reviews the major food policy issues, developments, and decisions of 2016, and highlights challenges and opportunities for 2017 at the global and regional levels. This year’s report looks at the impact of rapid urban growth on food security and nutrition, and considers how food systems can be reshaped to benefit both urban and rural populations. Drawing on recent research, IFPRI researchers and other distinguished food policy experts consider a range of timely questions:
    ■ What do we know about the impacts of urbanization on hunger and nutrition?
    ■ What are our greatest research and data needs for better policy making that will ensure food security and improve diets for growing
    urban populations?
    ■ How can we better connect rural smallholders to urban food consumers to ensure that smallholders benefit from expanding urban food markets?
    ■ Why do city environments drive a nutrition transition toward poorer diets, and what policies can improve the nutrition environment?
    ■ How are urban areas reshaping agricultural value chains for staple crops and benefiting small farmers?
    ■ What role do informal markets play in feeding cities, and how can they be better governed to increase urban food security?
    The 2017 Global Food Policy Report also presents data tables and visualizations for several key food policy indicators, including country-
    level data on hunger, agricultural spending and research investment, and projections for future agricultural production and consumption. In addition to illustrative figures, tables, and a timeline of food policy events in 2016, the report includes the results of a global opinion poll on urbanization and the current state of food policy.


  45. Proceedings of the High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Investment in Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific

    The Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) in collaboration with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), Department of Agriculture (DOA), Thailand, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAO RAP), Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), organized a High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) on Investment in Agricultural Research for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific on 8-9 December 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. The event was also supported by Syngenta and Agricultural Research Technology Institute (ARTI), Chinese Taipei. The technical program was organized into six theme-based plenary and parallel sessions involving resource paper presentations and panel discussions, as follows: Session I: Status and Outlook for Investment in Agricultural Research and Innovation; Session II: Scoping Investments in Agricultural Research and Innovation - Addressing Current and Emerging Challenges; Parallel Session III: Scoping Investments in Agricultural Research and Innovation – (A) Climate Smart and Sustainable Agriculture; (B) Knowledge Management for Sustainable Agriculture; (C) Capacity Development for Sustainable Agriculture; Session IV: Plenary – Scoping Investments (Themes of Sessions II & III); Session V: Impact Expectations from Investment in Agricultural Research and Innovation; and Session VI: Innovative Funding Mechanisms. Outputs and recommendations of xvi each session were further discussed and finalized in the Final Plenary Session VII: Presentation of Reports from Thematic Sessions I, IV, V, & VI.

  46. Biotechnologies for agricultural development. Proceedings of the FAO international technical conference: "Agricultural biotechnologies in developing countries" (ABCD-10), New Mexico, 2010

    This book represents the proceedings of the FAO international technical conference dedicated to Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC-10) that took place in Guadalajara, Mexico on 1-4 March 2010. A major objective of the conference was to take stock of the application of biotechnologies across the different food and agricultural sectors in developing countries, in order to learn from the past and to identify options for the future to face the challenges of food insecurity, climate change and natural resource degradation. The proceedings are organized in two main sections. The first section contains ten chapters with an extensive series of FAO background documents prepared before ABDC-10. They focus on the current status and options for biotechnologies in developing countries in crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries/aquaculture and food processing/safety, as well as on related policy issues and options, in particular about targeting agricultural biotechnologies to the poor; enabling research and development (R&D) for agricultural biotechnologies; and ensuring access to the benefits of R&D. The second section contains five chapters dedicated to the outcomes of ABDC-10, namely the reports from 27 parallel sessions of sectoral, cross-sectoral and regional interest, most of which were organized by different intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations and regional fora; keynote presentations; and the conference report adopted by delegates in Guadalajara on the final day.

  47. Mediating technological learning in agricultural innovation systems

    The focus of this paper is on how the institutional arrangements within the on-farm sector of the New Zealand dairy industry influence industry participants and encourage them to be innovative, in the context of industry productivity goals. The authors will present and discuss an approach to policy systems analysis that facilitates shared understanding between system participants and enables strategies for change to be identified.

  48. Stimulating innovation opportunities through shared and unique connections of intermediaries within advisory networks

    While privatization of extension has received considerable attention with respect to implications for public and private good, less consideration has been given to structural and relational implications for knowledge sharing. Therefore this paper, presented at the 12th European IFSA Symposium (Workshop: "Generating spaces for innovation in agricultural and rural development") in 2016, considers the question ‘how is knowledge sharing enabled in privatized extension networks?’ To examine this question an empirically based case study was undertaken involving five industry extension advisers, referred to as Regional Extension Coordinators (RECs). This team was set up in 2014 by Australia’s dairy industry peak body, Dairy Australia, to fill a gap in extension coordination and services left by the withdrawal of government extension services. Social network analysis in combination with qualitative data was used to identify the knowledge sharing relationships of RECs within their team as well as each REC’s individual extension network.

  49. Multidisciplinary knowledge partnerships and research teams for dairy innovation: experiences in the FutureDairy project (Australia)

    This paper, presented at the 8th European IFSA Symposium ( Workshop 6: "Change in knowledge systems and extension services: Role of the new actors") in 2008, discusses the FutureDairy project, which is developing more productive forage and feeding systems and testing technical innovations such as robotic milking in Australian pasture based dairy systems. Associated with this work are 'Knowledge Partnerships' where researchers from multiple disciplines (dairy science, extension and social research) engage with farmers and advisors to adapt forages and feeding technical options to commercial situations. The approach brings together the professions of research, farming and agricultural advisors and the formal disciplines of dairy science, social research and extension. After two years the approach delivered on its major objective - fast tracking innovation within the dairy industry. However, social research studies of multidisciplinarity within FutureDairy have uncovered significant challenges in the approach. This paper recounts some of the experiences of the project management team trying to negotiate ways around conflicting world views and beyond the dominant science paradigm.


  50. The New Harvest. Agricultural Innovation in Africa

    African agriculture is currently at a crossroads, at which persistent food shortages are compounded by threats from climate change. But, as this book argues, Africa can feed itself in a generation and help contribute to global food security. To achieve this Africa has to define agriculture as a force in economic growth by: advancing scientific and technological research; investing in infrastructure; fostering higher technical training; and creating regional markets. To govern the transformation Africa must foster the emergence of a new crop of entrepreneurial leaders dedicated to the continent's economic improvement. The book is divided into seven chapters. Chapter 1 examines the critical linkages between agriculture and economic growth. Chapter 2 reviews the implications of advances in science
    and technology for Africa’s agriculture.  Chapter 3 provides a conceptual framework for defining agricultural innovation in a systemic context. Chapter 4 outlines the critical linkages between infrastructure and agricultural innovation. The role of education in fostering agricultural innovation is the subject of Chapter 5. Chapter 6 presents the importance of entrepreneurship in agricultural innovation. The final chapter outlines regional approaches for fostering agricultural innovation.


  51. Case stories on capacity development and sustainable results

    LenCD has prepared a joint statement on results and capacity development (presented in this publication), which stresses that meaningful, sustainable results are premised on proper investments in capacity development and that these results materialize at different levels and at different times, along countries’ development trajectory. To provide evidence in support of this statement, LenCD launched a call for submission of stories. The 15 stories featured in this publication have been selected by a fourmember review panel, through a rigorous appraisal process of over 40 stories, received as a response to the LenCD call. The stories have been contributed by different countries and development partners and cover 14 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Latin America. The stories showcase how endogenous investments in capacity development have led, over time, to produce short, medium and long-term sustainable results. 

  52. Green Growth in Agriculture and Rural Innovation Systems – Issues and Challenges For Policy

    This presentation argues the need of green growth in agriculture, analyzes features of the innovation systems and ends with some policies practices. The presentation has been prepared for "Innovation and Modernising the Rural Economy", OECD’s 8th Rural Development Policy Conference, 3-5 October 2012 (Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation).

  53. The Australian Agricultural Innovation System

    This chapter outlines the role of a well-functioning agricultural innovation system in ensuring good use of public funds, and higher responsiveness to the needs of ‘innovation consumers’ through improved collaboration between public and private participants, including across national borders. A well-functioning agricultural innovation system is key to improving the economic, environmental and social performance of the food and agriculture sector. The long-term positive impact of agricultural R&D on productivity growth is well established, and technologies and practices can help improve the sustainability of natural resource use.

  54. Performance Indicators for Agricultural Innovation Systems in the ACP Region

    This synthesis report presents the outputs of the workshop organised by CTA at its headquarters in Wageningen, The Netherlands, 15-17 July 2008.  The outputs are presented in two main parts, each corresponding to one of the workshop objectives, and ends with a section on the way forward as suggested by the workshop participants. It also includes a first attempt to come to a consolidated generic framework on AIS performance indicators, based on the outputs of the different working groups. This is improved on the basis of feedback from workshop participants and their partners in ACP-countries and Europe during subsequent meetings and support for case studies on monitoring and evaluating contributions to innovation performance. The workshop involved 22 experts from 11 ACP countries, France and The Netherlands. CTA plans to organise follow-up workshops and support case studies to develop the process. 

  55. Status of Agricultural Extension and Rural Advisory Services Worldwide Summary Report

    The Worldwide Extension Study provides empirical data on the human and financial resources of agricultural extension and advisory systems worldwide, as well as other important information on: the primary extension service providers in each country (e.g.: public, private and/or non-governmental); which types and groups of farmers are the primary target groups (e.g.: large, medium, and/or small-scale farmers, including rural women) for each extension organization; how each organization’s resources are allocated to key extension and advisory service functions; each organization’s information and communication technology resources and capacity; and what role, if any, different categories of farmers play in setting extension’s priorities and/or assessing performance.The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), working in collaboration with the University of Illinois (UIUC), FAO, and the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), developed the Worldwide Extension Study database as part of the assessment of the status of agricultural extension and advisory services worldwide between 2009-2013. 

  56. Capacity Building for Agricultural Research for Development. Lessons from Practice in Papua New Guinea

    This book contains a collection of papers that discuss the experience of an Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) capacity building program in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The program was the AusAID-funded Agricultural Research and Development Support Facility (ARDSF), which ran for fi ve years from 2007 to 2012, and which sought to improve the delivery of services by agricultural research organisations to smallholder farmers.