n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Forging partnerships for innovation through networking : case studies from the Fodder Innovation Project, Nigeria

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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Agricultural systems in Africa are subject to changes that defy prediction. Such changes imply that attendant challenges and opportunities do not present a defined trajectory and do not implicate a defined architecture of actors to leverage coping strategies. The general argument in this paper is that such complexity requires a congruence of strategies and tacit knowledge embodied not only in science and technology bases but institutional and policy realms, a departure from earlier paradigms where the former were deemed the sole answer to challenges in agricultural systems. Specifically, the paper argues that without networking, resources and expertise held by each of the actors is put to limited use. An approach that facilitates the networking of diverse sets of actors leads to opportunities for unusual partnerships that, in turn, lead to better linkage of research and development i.e. greater innovation capacity to navigate changing environments. This view and approach, it is believed, contributes to the breakdown of the barriers between science and resource users. The policy implication of this paper is that networking is a key component for the social capital of socially and ecologically resilient communities.

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