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Enhancing Agricultural Innovation: How to Go beyond the Strengthening of Research Systems

Enhancing Agricultural Innovation:
How to Go beyond the Strengthening of Research Systems

Monday, June 12, 2006
9:30 – 16:00
MC 8-W150

Chairs: Connie Bernard and Severin Kodderitzsch

Presentations by: Andy Hall, Willem Janssen, Eija Pehu

Contributions by: Paul Engel, Ponniah Anandajayasekeram, Rajeswari Raina, Animesh Srivastava, Mruthyunjaya, Vandana Chandra, Al Watkins and Vinod Goel

Objectives:

  1. To present, and discuss the new ARD ESW report on Agricultural Innovation Systems. The aim of the report is to develop an operational agricultural innovation systems concept for the Bank‘s client countries and its collaborators and to begin assessing the utility of the concept in guiding investments.
  2. To begin the dissemination of the report and to jointly brainstorm on the next steps that the Bank should now take in the field of agricultural innovation

Background:

It is well accepted that a strong science and technology system can make important contributions to sustainable and equitable agricultural development. Investments in science and technology have therefore been a steady component of most development strategies. One of the conclusions however of a workshop in 2004 on "Development of Research Systems to Support the Changing Agricultural Sector" was that strengthened research systems will increase the availability of new knowledge and new technologies, but not necessarily the number of innovations that will be implemented by the producers.

In addition to generating new knowledge, the conditions must be put in place to assure that this knowledge actually leads to accelerated development. This realization has led to extensive changes in the agricultural knowledge systems of the developed world. Many of these changes have been implemented to ensure that new knowledge is relevant in the market context and that the role of the private sector in the development and diffusion of new knowledge is explicitly recognized.

ARD, SASAR and the United Nations University have been exploring the concept of a national agricultural innovation system, that is made up of the institutions, enterprises and individuals that demand and supply knowledge and technologies, and the rules and mechanisms by which these different agents are interacting. In this concept the focus is not on the science suppliers but on the totality of actors that are involved in innovation. The role of the private sector and of the financing system is more explicitly recognized and end-market demands are more integrated.

While innovation systems theory has been used in the past to explain the reasons for success or failure of different initiatives in the agricultural sector, it had not been used to guide future interventions that are meant to strengthen the sustainable innovation capacity of a country. The ESW report "Enhancing Agricultural Innovation: How to Go beyond the Strengthening of Research Systems" fills that void.

The dissemination activities for the ESW report "Enhancing Agricultural Innovation: How to Go beyond the Strengthening of Research Systems" will be initiated at the workshop. Discussions will be held on how the concept can be further strengthened and on the follow-up activities that should be undertaken by the Bank and its partners.

 Minutes & Presentations

For further information, please contact:

Eija Pehu
Adviser
Agriculture and Rural Development (ARD)
ESSD (Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development)
epehu@worldbank.org
(202) 458-2422

Willem Janssen
Senior Agriculture Specialist
South Asia Agriculture and Rural Development (SASAR)
wjanssen@worldbank.org
(202) 458-8732




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