Innovations in the agriculture of Central America: progress, institutional capacity and policy needs
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Pomareda, Carlos. 2013. Innovations in the agriculture of Central America: progress, institutional capacity and policy needs . Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT); Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura (FAO), Cali, CO. 85 p.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/77058
Internet URL: http://www.fao.org/3/a-bl732e.pdf
This paper has been prepared under the guidelines provided by the TAP Secretariat at the FAO, as a contribution to the TAP, an initiative of the G.20, which includes near 40 partners, facilitated by the FAO. Its purpose is to provide a Regional synthesis report on capacity needs assessment for agricultural innovation, with capacity gaps identified and analyzed, including recommendations to strengthen agricultural innovation systems (AIS) and draft policy recommendations to address the capacity gaps. This study is part of the TAP Initiative and is targeted at Central America and selected countries in Africa and Asia. This report was guided by the consideration that Innovations in agriculture are recognized as such when they are already used to some extent by producers. The stages preceding the use of innovations may include formal research or farmers’ experimentation. Innovations in agriculture include technological and managerial alternatives. Institutional capacity is understood in its broader sense as referring to a system which includes: legislation and rules of the game, which must be understood and fulfilled by all actors; policies, which, when properly implemented, provide guidelines for private actors’ decisions and investments; organizations (public and private) which have adequate capacity (see below); mechanisms that facilitate interaction and partnerships among actors (platforms, networks, etc.) and ad hoc financial mechanisms (venture capital, competitive funds, etc.) to facilitate private investment. Capacity of an organization is referred as the capacity to perform properly in a system. It requires amongst other things, qualified, motivated and well paid staff; efficient internal procedures; equipment; physical facilities; information systems that allow fulfillment of tasks; sufficient and timely funding; proactive attitude; and positive image. Therefore, improving the capacity of an organization requires investment and not just in training personnel. The rationale for building capacity of innovation systems and participating organizations is most justified in the context of the need to assure the benefits of markets of technological and managerial goods and services accrue to all actors in agriculture. Also, such capacity is needed to be prepared to perform properly in growingly uncertain and challenging environments.