Multi-stakeholders platforms as a process of innovation system learning: experience of sustainable and integrated exploitation of inland valleys in Benin
This research was prompted by the low used of the technologies and innovations developed by the researchers. This paper presents an experience of rice production intensification through multi-stakeholders platforms (MSP) in two provinces of Benin: Mono and Couffo. Its objective is to draw the lessons learned from this experience, especially the role and place of capacity building in the process. MSP process description and actors’ perceptions analysis serve as empirical evidence to reach this objective. Innovation systems perspective is used in this article. The innovation systems concept focuses not merely on the science suppliers but on the totality and interaction of actors involved in innovation. Innovation is viewed in a social and economic sense and not purely as a discovery and invention. MSP in this project is seen as a mechanism through which the various actors in local rice value chain, with common or divergent interests, come together to learn, act and innovate in a systemic manner. Capacity building has played a key role in the process of the MSP building. Actors’ perceptions are evaluated through the achievements so far and the weaknesses of the experience. Lessons learned and further challenges were described. The study suggested the use these lessons learned to promote MSP in the view to facilitate access the technologies and innovations for the clusters actors at grassroot level.
Keywords: Multi-stakeholders platform, innovation systems, actors, capacity building, agribusiness.