Capacity development for agricultural biotechnology in developing countries: Concepts, contexts, case studies and operational challenges of a systems perspective.

Andy Hall & Jeroen Dijkman


There are divergent views on what capacity development might mean in relation to agricultural biotechnology. The core of this debate is whether this should involve the development of human capital and research infrastructure, or whether it should encompass a wider range of activities which also include developing the capacity to use knowledge productively. This paper uses the innovation systems concept to shed light on this discussion, arguing that it is innovation capacity rather than science and technology capacity that has to be developed. The context of deploying biotechnology in developing countries is illustrated with an over view of Uganda and Ethiopia. The then presents 6 examples of different capacity development approaches. It concludes by suggesting that policy needs to take a multidimensional approach to capacity development in line with an innovation systems perspective. But it also argues that policy needs to recognise the need to develop the capacity of diversity of innovation systems and that a key part of the capacity development task is to bring about the integration of these different systems at strategic points in time. The paper concludes with a tentative typology of the main types of agricultural innovation systems that are likely to be important in developing countries.

Key words: agriculture; Ethiopia; Uganda; innovation systems; biotechnology; capacity development; innovation capacity; policy.

ISSN 1871-9872

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