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Innovation systems, agricultural growth and rural livelihoods in East Africa
This project’s aim is to understand how different institutional arrangements for supporting smallholder farmers affect the innovation activity and livelihoods of female and male farmers in Kenya, Sudan and Uganda, and the impact of this innovation on growth in the local economy.
From interviews with key informants and a document review the research team will build up a detailed picture of organisations and institutions that support and provide services to smallholder farmers in Kenya, Sudan and Uganda. They will then carry out a detailed investigation of recent innovation activity in four sites in each country and of the factors that have constrained and those that have supported innovation.
Participatory research tools will include innovation histories, communication maps, value chain analysis and timelines. The analysis will generate hypotheses linking institutional arrangements, innovation activity, and changes in farm output, livelihoods, and incomes. These hypotheses will be tested using data from further participatory research and a sample survey in each of the research sites. The team will develop evidence-based conclusions on the potential and limitations for enhancing support for smallholder farmers’ innovation through new institutional arrangements and different ways of implementing support programmes at local level.