chapter  4
15 Pages

Applying the Innovation Systems Concept in the Field: Experiences of a Research Team in Uganda

ByChris Opondo, Conny Almekinders, Jeremias Mowo, Rogers Kanzikwera, Pauline Birungi, Winnie Alum

The last two decades have witnessed renewed emphasis on the need for agricultural research and development to be more effective. Holistic and integrated approaches are advocated to meet the needs of farmer clients in their complex systems. Recently, the concept of innovation systems is gaining ground in agricultural research programmes. While the introduction of participatory approaches to technology development during the 1980s already meant a paradigm shi� away from the conventional reductionist linear approaches (Chambers and Jiggins, 1987), the innovation system approach goes further in recognizing complexity and the need for more holistic perspectives to agricultural development (Hagmann, 1999; IAC, 2004; Dantas, 2005; Spielman, 2006; World Bank, 2006). In an innovation approach, technology development is an important ingredient in the process of bringing about agricultural development; but a range of other elements needs to be in place to make the improved technology meaningful to farmers.