Agricultural Innovation Systems

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Policy Incoherence in Smallholder Dairying in Bihar

Policy Incoherence in Smallholder Dairying in Bihar

Small holder dairying plays an important role in the socioeconomic development of Bihar. While several organizations exist for dairy development in Bihar and there is an increase in investments and interventions in this sector during the last one decade, these are yet to contribute to increasing milk productivity. The study maps the existing innovation capacity of the small holder dairy sector through an analysis of patterns of interaction among the various actors and identifies the major institutions and policies that currently constrain development of improved capacity for innovation. The paper argues the need for addressing the policy incoherence in the small holder dairy sector in Bihar through organization of a multi-stakeholder policy working group which focuses on ways of addressing policy gaps, enhances capacities for policy implementation and facilitates policy learning.
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Analysis of Institutional Arrangements for Scaling Out Intensification of Smallholder Farming Systems in Eastern Gangetic Plains of India, Nepal and Bangladesh

This research was undertaken for the Sustainable Resilient Farming Systems Intensification (SRFSI) project.  
The diagnosis of the agricultural innovation systems (AIS) in the 8 pilot districts revealed the presence of a wide range of actors who can potentially support outscaling (horizontal spread of new knowledge being applied) and upscaling (institutional and policy changes that create a favourable environment for rapid uptake of new knowledge) of SRFSI. The success of SRFSI in promoting application of new knowledge around Conservation Agriculture (CA) and Sustainable Intensification (SI) depends crucially in developing partnerships and bringing about synergy among the activities of these different agencies. SRFSI interventions should build on some of the interesting initiatives around CA and SI promoted by various programmes or agencies. Promoting CA and SI involves calibration of several technical options appropriate to the different situations (soil water conditions, size of farms, types of crops grown etc, etc). Lack of well articulated policy on promotion of conservation agriculture and sustainable intensification is currently constraining wider update of these technologies.
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Analysis of Institutional Arrangements for Scaling Out Intensification of Smallholder Farming Systems in Eastern Gangetic Plains of India, Nepal and Bangladesh

Rural Innovation Management

Rural Innovation Management

CRISP was part of the Central Research Team (CRT) constituted by the Research Into Use (RIU) programme (http://www.researchintouse.com) and our research led to development of new insights on putting new knowledge into productive use. We explored the dimensions of rural innovation management in this research.
The research provided a framework to help analyse the sorts of innovation management tasks that are becoming important. This framework distinguishes four elements of innovation management: (i) Functions (ii) Actions (iii) Tools and (iv) Organisational Format. This research on the distribution of innovation management in the Asia projects suggests that it is not technology access-related tasks alone that are important, but the bundling of these with other activities, which include the development of networks, advocacy for policy change, training and other negotiated changes in practice and action. The implication for policy is that ways of supporting this wider suite of innovation management tasks would go a long way in helping make better use of agricultural research in rural development.
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Role of Research in Innovation

This was another area which we explored under the RIU programme.
Agricultural innovation is a process that takes a multitude of different forms, and, within this process, agricultural research and expertise are mobilised at different points in time for different purposes. This paper uses two key analytical principles to establish how research is actually put into use. The first, which concerns the configurations of organisations and their relationships associated with innovation, reveals the additional set of resources and expertise that research needs to be married to, and sheds light on the types of arrangements that allow this marriage to take place. The second, which concerns understanding innovation as a path-dependent, contextually shaped trajectory unfolding over time, reveals the changing role of research during the course of events associated with the development and diffusion of products, services and institutional innovations.
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Other papers from the RIU experience:
http://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/working-papers/abstract/?id=4501
http://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/working-papers/abstract/?id=4013

Role of Research in Innovation

Exploring Fodder Innovation in India and Nigeria

Exploring Fodder Innovation in India and Nigeria

CRISP partnered with an ILRI-UNU project on exploring fodder innovation in India and Nigeria. This project explored the issue of fodder from a capacity scarcity in relation to bringing technical and other changes in fodder practices and suggested ways of strengthening this capacity in order to increase use of livestock fodder and helps enhance the livelihoods of livestock dependent poor people. The conceptual framework of this project could be accessed at: http://www.icrisat.org/Publications/EBooksOnlinePublications/Publications-2007/ILRI_reframing%20technical%20change.pdf
The project defied the conventional technology transfer approach and adopted an approach based on innovation system principles to address fodder scarcity. Fodder scarcity in the project was conceptualized not as lack of technical capacity, but as lack of innovation capacity. This project tried to enhance innovation capacity by promoting appropriate configurations of stakeholders. However, translating this theory and principles into action was fraught with numerous challenges. In the absence of previously documented experiences, the project course was determined based on continuous and concurrent review and lesson learning. A first-hand account of the project implementation is presented in this paper so that it benefits others who are experimenting with similar approaches.
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Other publications from this project
http://epubs.icar.org.in/ejournal/index.php/IJAnS/article/view/44793
http://www.crispindia.org/docs/CAP0901_37_ENG_DEF_LR.pdf
http://www.crispindia.org/docs/FIPFinal_conference_abstract.pdf

Role of tacit knowledge in innovation capacity

This research explored the role of tacit knowledge in livestock sector innovation capacity though the case of Visakha Dairy, one of the most progressive producer-owned milk marketing companies in India.
Analysis of two episodes in Visakha's evolution illustrates how it used tacit knowledge to innovate around challenges. The research revealed that while tacit knowledge is a major resource that organisations rely on to cope with change, it does not follow that knowledge management approaches that centre on codifying this knowledge are the way forward. Instead, it suggest that better management of the learning processes, through which tacit knowledge is generated, would be a more useful contribution to innovation and innovation capacity – in other words, a shift from knowledge management to learning management.
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Role of tacit knowledge in innovation capacity