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Sustainability 2015, 7(1), 831-850; doi:10.3390/su7010831

Making Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) Work for Development in Tropical Countries

1
Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, University of Zurich, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
2
Research and Extension Unit, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 00152 Rome, Italy
3
FAO Country Office, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 01004 Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 12 September 2014 / Accepted: 7 January 2015 / Published: 13 January 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Abstract

Agricultural innovation in low-income tropical countries contributes to a more effective and sustainable use of natural resources and reduces hunger and poverty through economic development in rural areas. Yet, despite numerous recent public and private initiatives to develop capacities for agricultural innovation, such initiatives are often not well aligned with national efforts to revive existing Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS). In an effort to improve coordination and responsiveness of Capacity Development (CD) initiatives, the G20 Agriculture Ministers requested the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to lead the development of a Tropical Agricultural Platform (TAP), which is designed to improve coherence and coordination of CD for agricultural innovation in the tropics. This paper presents a summary of the results obtained from three regional needs assessments undertaken by TAP and its partners. The surveyed tropical regions were Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Central America. The findings reveal a mismatch in all three regions between the external supply of primarily individual CD and the actual demand for institutional CD. The misalignment might be addressed by strengthening south-south and triangular collaboration and by improving the institutional capacities that would render national AIS more demand-oriented and responsive to the needs of smallholders in domestic agriculture. View Full-Text
Keywords: capacity development; agricultural innovation systems; needs assessment; tropical agriculture platform capacity development; agricultural innovation systems; needs assessment; tropical agriculture platform
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Aerni, P.; Nichterlein, K.; Rudgard, S.; Sonnino, A. Making Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) Work for Development in Tropical Countries. Sustainability 2015, 7, 831-850.

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