Globalization, urbanization and new market demands — together with
ever-increasing quality and safety requirements — are putting
significantly greater pressures on agrifood stakeholders in the world.
The ability to respond to new challenges and opportunities is important
not just for producers but also for industries in developing countries.
This paper aims to present what “innovation response capacity” entails,
especially for natural resourcebased industries in a developing country
context. It will also provide an analytical framework that draws
elements from agricultural innovation capacity and the innovation
systems framework. This is provided through case study research
conducted in Kenya by exploring two livestock product companies:
Farmer’s Choice and Kenchic. The cases show how companies had worked
around the problem of weak interaction with the various livestockrelated
agencies of the public sector by developing links with international
sources of knowledge and technology. This allowed the sector to respond
rapidly to different challenges. While the country’s historical
development explains this pattern of innovation response capacity,
public policy appears to be failing in its role of nurturing and
contributing to the capacities needed for development in emerging
economies, such as that of Kenya.
Key words: Livestock; agriculture; innovation; innovation response capacity; Kenya
JEL codes: O31, N57, Q16
UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872