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Reframing Technical Change: Livestock Fodder Scarcity Revisited as Innovation Capacity Scarcity.

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Focus Topic:
Capacity Development
Hall, A.; Sulaiman, R.; Bezkorowajnyj, P.

This document, divided into three sections, develops a conceptual framework for a project on livestock
fodder innovation ??? the Fodder Innovation Project (FIP). Livestock is important to the livelihoods of poor
people in many regions of the developing world. A generic problem found across this diverse range
of production and marketing contexts is the shortage of fodder. This paper argues that to address this
problem it is necessary to frame the question of fodder shortage not from the perspective of information
and technological scarcity, but from the perspective of capacity scarcity in relation to fodder innovation.
To support this position the first section presents case studies of experience, from an earlier fodder
innovation project, that suggest that while fodder technology is important, it is not enough. There is a
large institutional dimension to bringing about innovation, particularly with respect to the effectiveness
of networks and alliances needed to put technology into use. The second section begins by reviewing
the evolving paradigms of agricultural research and innovation over the last 30 years or so and explains
the emergence and relevance of the innovation systems concept to agricultural development. It then
presents a framework for exploring fodder innovation capacity, with particular emphasis on the patterns
of interaction needed for innovation and the policy and institutional settings needed to enable these
processes. The third section reviews the wide range of existing tools available to investigate institutional
change. It then recommends that an eclectic approach of mixing and matching tools to the emerging
circumstances of the research is the best way forward.