Journal of Agricultural Research and Development

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Systems of innovation and agricultural productivity in African economies

O.E. Ayinde, M Muchie, F.D. Babalola


The essay presents an overview of the prevailing theoretical literature on innovation and agriculture. It also examines the adequacy of existing innovation to guide policy regarding agricultural productivity. In addition, the essay sketches some directions for fruitful linkage in innovation systems and agricultural productivity. It argues that innovation in the agricultural sector in Africa has been dominated by the narrow approach of employing technology transfer and adoption theory. Indeed, African farmers, their innovative behavior practices and ’the markets’ are relevant in studying innovative practices that result in sustainable agricultural productivity. Although there has been a long tradition of development assistance investment in public research systems, yet there is growing recognition that while public agricultural research is necessary, it is not sufficient on its own to create a dynamic innovation capacity. There are challenges that exist in agricultural productivity, there is need for Innovation system approach in Africa agriculture. Thus, increasing and sustaining agricultural productivity not only relies on improved production efficiencies, such as through adoption of modern or improved technologies and practices, but also critically relies on many other factors that are institutional, environmental, social, economical and technological. This essay recommended that a multi-layered innovative behaviour and socio-economic heterogeneity approach is needed in Africa Agricultural Economy to encourage and boost productivity.

Keywords: Agriculture, Innovation system, Africa and linkage
AJOL African Journals Online