The potential for public private sector partnerships is likely to grow.
However, despite a number of high profile success stories, promoting
partnerships has proved more difficult than many assumed. This paper
argues that such partnerships need to be viewed in the framework of an
innovation system and a development scenario where networks of
agro-enterprises and intermediary organisations will underpin rural
development and poverty reduction. This view helps reveal the importance
of embedding public research organizations within these local networks
and highlights that constraint to building partnership is usually
institutional in nature – i.e. it relates to habits practices and
patterns of trust. The paper concludes by suggesting that efforts should
be focused on building social capital in agricultural innovation systems
and cautions that this should be done in contextually relevant ways.
Key words: Public private sector partnerships; innovation systems; institutional change; capacity development; social capital.