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Building social capital for agricultural innovation : experiences with farmer groups in sub-Saharan Africa

Document type: book
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Abstract: The main objective of this bulletin is to help in laying a stronger foundation for the generation of truly client-driven agricultural innovation systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in order to facilitate greater efficiency and effectiveness in achieving the overarching agricultural development objectives of sustained productivity gains, improved profitability, and poverty alleviation. Pioneering experiences with the Farmer Research Group (FRG) approach in many parts of SSA show that the building of social capital at the community level is crucial to technological innovation for the development of more productive, profitable and sustainable farming systems. This bulletin intends to document these FRG experiences in agricultural innovation at the local level. It also discusses the extent to which service delivery for local innovation has become more demand-driven as a result of this community-based social capital, as well as its shortcomings and constraints to further development. The effect of including poor and vulnerable farmers in the innovation development process through the group approach is also assessed. The challenges to link existing local social capital into higher-level networks and federations for true empowerment in setting the research and extension agendas are examined. Part of the objectives of this paper is to share experiences in monitoring FRGs and to improve the system of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of FRGs. Conclusions are drawn on policy issues in farmer organization empowerment in innovation development.
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Authors: Heemskerk, W. , Wennink, B.
Series Title: Bulletin / Development Policy and Practice
Country: Benin , Botswana , Burkina Faso , Mali , Tanzania, United Republic of , Uganda , Zambia
Category: Policy
ISBN: 90-6832-161-7
Serial number: 368
Keywords: agriculture , research , participation , empowerment , poverty
Language: eng
Organization: KIT - Royal Tropical Institute
PAGE: 119
Place: Amsterdam
Publisher: KIT Publishers
Year: 2004
Region: Africa , Africa South of Sahara
Right: © 2004 KIT
Subject: Agriculture and Rural Development
Title: Building social capital for agricultural innovation : experiences with farmer groups in sub-Saharan Africa