This paper examines how post-secondary agricultural education and training (AET) in sub-Saharan Africa can contribute to agricultural development by strengthening the capacity to innovate—to introduce new products and processes that are socially or economically relevant to smallholder farmers and other agents. Using the AET system in Mozambique as a case study, this paper examines the role of AET within the context of an agricultural innovation system. This innovation systems perspective offers an analytical framework to examine technological change in agriculture as a complex process of interactions among diverse actors who generate, exchange, and use knowledge, conditioned by complex social and economic institutions. The paper argues that while AET is conventionally viewed as key to the development of human capital, it also has a vital role to play in building the capacity of organizations and individuals to transmit and adapt information, products and processes, and new organizational cultures and behaviors. The paper emphasizes the importance of improving AET systems by strengthening the capabilities of organizations and professionals; changing organizational cultures, behaviors, and incentives; and building innovation networks and linkages. The paper offers several recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of AET for agricultural innovation and development. Key reforms include aligning the mandates of AET organizations with national development aspirations; inducing change in the cultures of AET organizations through the introduction of educational programs and linkages beyond the AET system; and enhancing innovative individual and organizational capacity by improving incentives to forge stronger links between AET and other stakeholders.
- Agricultural education and training,
- Innovation systems,
- Individual and collective capabilities,
- Organizational incentives,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/cosmas_ochieng/4/