26 September 2009

Agriculture needs better innovation, not technology

A recent article in Scidev.net argues that insufficient attention may have been given to the fact that the capacity for innovation in agriculture is influenced not only by farmers' skills and resources, but also by the wider network of links and relationships in which farmers are embedded, which help ideas to diffuse and find new uses.

These hypotheses are currently being tested by a research project in India and Nigeria on the long-standing problem of fodder scarcity, using what is widely referred to as an 'innovation systems' perspective.

Rather than focus directly on new fodder technologies — such as new varieties, fodder banks or alternative cropping patterns — the five pilot projects that make up the Fodder Innovation Project (FIP) concentrate on strengthening networks and changing working practices.

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