The South African agricultural innovation system – stakeholders, structure and process

Nordwig, Katja (2015-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study makes a contribution to the research about the emergence and functioning of innovation systems in the agricultural sector in developing countries. It determines the current status quo of the South African Agricultural Innovation System and its limitations and shows possible solutions to overcome these. The agricultural sector in South Africa faces many challenges. Water scarcity, climate change and increasing resource pressure are just some of the obstacles, which need to be overcome. Agricultural activity is very diverse and ranges from highly efficient farming operations to food gardens and subsistence farming. Furthermore, the South Africa’s population will continue to grow, and food production will need to increase significantly. In order to meet these challenges and to ensure and improve food security, new solutions need to be found and innovations need to be implemented. This study explores the ability of the South African Agricultural Innovation System to support the emergence and implementation of innovative solutions and to enable long lasting change of the agricultural sector and the overall food system. The research used a variety of methodologies, such as literature review, qualitative interviews, social network analysis and content analysis. A first journal article seeks to portray the South African Agricultural Innovation System. Based on innovation system theory and its application in agriculture as well as qualitative interviews with various stakeholders, a social network analysis was performed and the results are presented in a visual form. The maturity of the innovation system and its ability to face and meet the existing challenges are discussed. The second journal article describes the ability of the South African agricultural sector to support a long-term transition towards more sustainability. The concepts of transition theory, the multilevel perspective and strategic niche management are presented and discussed. Limiting factors for a transition towards a more sustainable agricultural and food system in South Africa were identified during interviews with various parties involved in agricultural innovation. Potential solutions to overcome these limitations are described and reviewed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie lewer ’n bydrae tot die navorsing oor die opkoms en funksionering van innovasiestelsels in die landbousektor in ontwikkelende lande. Dit bepaal die huidige status quo van die stelsel met sy onderskeie beperkinge en bied moontlike oplossings om dit te oorkom. Daar is aansienlike uitdagings wat die landbousektor in Suid-Afrika kniehalter. Waterskaarste, klimaatsverandering en toenemende druk op hulpbronne is slegs ’n paar van die struikelblokke wat oorkom moet word. Landboukundige aktiwiteit is geweldig uiteenlopend en wissel van hoogs doeltreffende landbouondernemings tot voedseltuine en bestaansboerdery. Aangesien Suid-Afrika se bevolking boonop voortdurend groei, moet voedselproduksie beduidend verhoog. Ten einde hierdie uitdagings die hoof te kan bied en voedselsekuriteit te verseker en te verbeter, moet nuwe oplossings gevind en innovasies geïmplementeer word. Hierdie studie ondersoek die vermoë van die Suid-Afrikaanse Landbou-innovasiestelsel om die opkoms en implementering van innoverende oplossings te ondersteun en langdurige verandering van die landbousektor en die algehele voedselstelsel moontlik te maak. Die navorsing het verskillende metodologieë gebruik, onder meer literatuuroorsig, kwalitatiewe onderhoude, sosiale netwerk-ontleding en inhoudontleding. Die eerste vaktydskrifartikel beeld die Suid-Afrikaanse Landbou-innovasiestelsel uit. Gebaseer op innovasiestelselteorie en die toepassing daarvan in die landbou, asook kwalitatiewe onderhoude met verskeie belanghebbendes, is ’n sosiale netwerk-ontleding gedoen en die resultate word in visuele vorm aangebied. Die volwaardigheid van die innovasiestelsel en die vermoë daarvan om die bestaande uitdagings aan te pak en dit die hoof te bied, word bespreek. Die tweede vaktydskrifartikel beskryf die vermoë van die Suid-Afrikaanse landbousektor om ’n langtermynoorgang na groter volhoubaarheid te ondersteun. Die konsepte oorgangsteorie, die veelvlakperspektief en strategiese nis-bestuur word aangebied en bespreek. Faktore wat ’n oorgang na ’n meer volhoubare landbou- en voedselstelsel in Suid-Afrika beperk, is in onderhoude met verskeie belanghebbendes by landboukundige innovasie uitgewys. Potensiële oplossings om hierdie beperkinge te oorkom word beskryf en hersien.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97937
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