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Published by Dr. Girma Kelboro

A critical Review of the Follow-the-Innovation approach: Stakeholder Collaboration and Agricultural Innovation Development

Technological innovations have driven economic development and improvement in living conditions
throughout history. However, the majority of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa have seldom adopted
or used science-based technological innovations. Consequently, several scholars have been persistently
questioning the effectiveness of intervention models in smallholder agriculture. Following the agricultural
innovation systems framework (AIS), this paper reviews a participatory framework known as the ‘Follow
the Innovation’ (FTI) approach, which was developed in the research project ‘Economic and Ecological
Restructuring of Land and Water Use in Khorezm’ (2001 – 2012) and employed in an ongoing BiomassWeb
project ‘Improving food security in Africa through increased system productivity of biomass-based value
webs’ (2013 – 2018). The review shows a need for a broader definition of innovation as an outcome of
collaborative or collegiate participation of multi-stakeholders processes requiring scientists, extensionists,
local communities and other stakeholders to perform five key tasks jointly. Salient implications of this
review are highlighted for transdisciplinary research (such as in the BiomassWeb project) aiming at
agricultural innovation development in complex environments.

K. Amakwah, A. Shtaltovna, G. Kelboro and A.K. Hornidge
African Journal of Rural Development
Vol. 1, No. 1