Rethinking the benchmarking of agricultural and rural innovation

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9th Globelics International Conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Erika Kraemer-Mbula

The purpose of this paper is to re-examine the role that benchmarking can play in rural and agricultural innovations. Although generally known as ‗traditional sectors‘, rural activities are far from static but rather driven by old and new challenges pleading for innovative responses. Despite the broad range of insights from the burgeoning literature on innovation systems during the last decade, most benchmarking thinking and practice still remains highly science-based and centred in promoting public R&D, especially in developing countries. This paper argues that a transition from simplistic to more dynamic forms of benchmarking needs to bring it closer to the contemporary understanding of processes of innovation and technological change, as a participatory process.

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