Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Private sector agricultural technology transfer

Gisselquist, D. et al. Private sector agricultural technology transfer into Bangladesh, Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia. International Food Policy Research Institute, August 2013.
23 pages

For five countries in Asia (Bangladesh) and Africa (Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Zambia) this report describes private sector technology transfer and introduction and considers interactions between technology transfer and private research. Information in this report comes from surveys of 126 private organizations, interviews, documents, and other studies.

Across all study countries, private companies introduce most new technologies for pesticides, machinery, poultry, fertilizers, and processing. Private companies deliver a steady flow of new maize hybrids in all countries except Senegal, new rice hybrids in Bangladesh, and new vegetable cultivars in Bangladesh, Kenya, Senegal, and Zambia. However, for other field crops in the African countries in this study and for five crops in Bangladesh, governments control private cultivar introduction.

Most companies reported introducing at least some technologies from other countries. Private technology transfer led to and supported private research. Fifty-seven of 126 surveyed private organizations reported in-country research. Public support for private technology introduction is widely accepted in principle.

Governments and donors are gaining experience with grants and other initiatives to promote private research. Governments provide educated staff and technical assistance and advice. However, government controls on introduction of several categories of agricultural inputs, especially cultivars, discourage private technology introduction. Additional studies are required to get a better picture of linkages between local and foreign agribusinesses, private technology transfer, and impact of private technology transfer on private research.

16/10/13 SciDev. Higher food demands and scarce resources are putting pressure on agricultural systems. How can productivity be increased within environmental limits, what is the role of science andtechnology in sustainable agriculture, and what can be done to further develop new crop management systems?

This Spotlight of SciDev presents an in-depth analysis including opinions, facts and figures, and key resources. Fernando R. Funes-Monzote, an agroecologist, researcher, consultant and farmer based in Cuba and vice-president of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology; David J. Spielman, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute; and Norman Uphoff, senior advisor to the Cornell SRI-Rice Center; offer their views on the debate.

Farmers fine-tune research, spread their own innovations. This article describes examples of farmer-led innovations that bring smallholders and researchers together to increase yields.

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