Innovation systems

Relations Key to Innovations – Peasants, Institutions and Technical Change on the Mossi Plateau in Burkina Faso

Upphovsperson: Hårsmar, Mats
Utgivare: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, African International Links
År: 2013
Ämnesord: Technical change, Food crop productivity, Innovation systems, Burkina Faso, Smallholders
How can technical changes within food crop cultivation in a country like Burkina Faso be explained? This is an important question for the reduction of poverty, for enhanced food security as well as for economic growth. Poor countries, where agriculture is dominating broad based economic growth, require increased productivity in food crop cultivation. This study builds on fieldwork from three villages, undertaken in 2001/2002 and in 2010. The villages are situated on the ‘Mossi plateau’ in central Burkina Faso, where chronic poverty is widespread. The study finds the character of diffusion channels and the role of social relations to be decisive in explaining access, choice and adoption of new techniques. The innovation system theory is found relevant, not least because of its focus on power structures and relations between actors. To further strengthen such systems, intermediary organizations should be supported and informal institutions transformed.