Agribusiness and Innovation Systems in Africa

Agribusiness and Innovation Systems in Africa

Agribusiness and Innovation Systems in Africa

This book examines how agricultural innovation arises in four African countries – Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda – through the lens of agribusiness, public policies, and specific value chains for food staples, high value products, and livestock. Determinants of innovation are not viewed individually but within the context of a complex agricultural innovation system involving many actors and interactions. The volume is based on qualitative interviews with agribusiness representatives that were designed to shed light on their experiences on public policies that either enhances or impedes innovation in Africa’s agriculture sector.

Following are the volume’s main messages on policies, institutions and strategies that nurture innovation in the agriculture sector: 1) agribusiness innovation is in many cases driven by the need to maintain grades and standards within the value chain, not only in the case of export markets, but also in evolving domestic and urban markets and value chains; 2) that staple food sector has potential to be a source of growth, innovation and poverty reduction; 3) successes in value chain innovation and agribusiness production depend critically on the structure of the whole agricultural innovation system and are highly context specific; 4) especially successful innovation were dependent on creating synergies between market-based and knowledge-based interactions and strong linkages within and beyond the value chain; and 5) the public sector’s innovation support has to extend to interactions, collective action and broader public-private partnership programs.

This book will be of interest to policymakers, agribusiness leaders, farmer organizations, NGOs, and researchers.

“The Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) framework is being seen increasingly as a very useful way of analyzing and understanding the extraordinarily complex group of actors and interactions needed for agricultural innovation and growth. The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) and its constituent subregional organizations in Africa promote this framework through the application of the Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D).Where the book adds value is by addressing the evolution of agricultural innovation in four African countries within the context of AIS, with a focus on the roles of agribusinesses and public policies. I strongly recommend this book to policy makers, agribusiness leaders, farmer organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and researchers in research institutes and universities who are interested in agricultural innovation in Africa.”

– Dr. Monty Jones, Executive Secretary,
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA)

“The future of African development depends on the ability to accelerate innovation by capitalizing on the creativity of African farmers and agribusiness entrepreneurs. This book addresses the question of how this might be done. It not only demonstrates the value of an innovation system as a way of exploring this question, but it illustrates how this can identify new high-performing policy options for strengthening innovation capacity. The main message of the book is that innovation is underway in African value chains. It is not driven by research, but by entrepreneurs, networks, and supportive policies. The book contributes to the mounting evidence that suggests that efforts to accelerate African agricultural innovation needs to expand far beyond the traditional focus on agricultural research and extension.”

– Dr. Andy Hall, LINK Coordinator,
United Nations University, MERIT, Maastricht


Ronald Kim, Kurt Larsen, and Florian Theus
Agriculture and Development • The Sub-Saharan African Context and Focus of the Book • A Changing Landscape • Agricultural Innovation Systems • Agribusiness, Value Chains, and Public Policies • Main Messages

1. Value Chains, Innovation, and Public Policies in African Agriculture: A Synthesis of Four Country Studies
John Lynam and Florian Theus
Agricultural Innovation Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Value Chains • Agricultural Innovation Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: Beyond the Value Chains—Support Structures and Services and the Intermediary Domain • Agricultural Innovation Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Impact of Public Policies and Institutions on Agribusiness Innovation • Conclusion


2. Ghana: Cassava, Cocoa, and Poultry
George Essegbey
Executive Summary • Background and Policy Context • An Overview of the Subsectors and Their Value Chains • Innovation in the Subsectors: Innovations within the Value Chains • Support Structures and Services • Coordination within the Innovation System: The Systems Approach • Public Policy Influence on Agribusiness Innovations • Conclusion and Summary of Recommendations

3. Kenya: Maize, Tomato, and Dairy
Hannington Odame, Philliph Musyoka, and Joseph Kere
Executive Summary • Introduction to KenyaA?s Agricultural Sector • Overview of the Subsectors, their Value Chains, and Innovations • Links and Coordination within the Innovation System • Public Policy Influence on Agribusiness Innovations • Conclusion

4. Tanzania: Sunflower, Cassava, and Dairy
Joseph Mpagalile, Romanus Ishengoma, and Peter Gillah
Background Information • Overview of the Subsectors, their Value Chains, and Innovations • Further Aspects of Innovation Related to all Subsectors • Support Structures and Services • Coordination among Key Actors of the Innovation System • The Impact of Policies • Conclusion

5. Uganda: Fish, Bananas, and Vegetables
Paul Kibwika, Florence Birung Kyazze, and Maria Nassuna Musoke
Background • Innovation across the Value Chains • Links among Key Actors of the Innovation System • Policy Influence on Agribusiness • Conclusion