Agricultural development depends on innovation. Innovation is a major source of improved productivity, competitiveness, and economic growth throughout advanced and emerging economies, and plays an important role in creating jobs, generating income, alleviating poverty, and driving social development.  It is increasingly obvious that if farmers, agribusinesses, and even nations are to cope, compete, and thrive in the midst of changes in agriculture and economy, they must innovate continuously.
This module introduces the concept of agricultural innovation and agricultural innovation system, discusses the importance of innovation to agricultural development and how innovation occurs. It highlights lessons learned from past investments into agricultural research, extension, and education and provide evidence and rationale for complementary investments – such as innovation capacity, coordination and collective action for innovation, incentives and resources for partnerships, alignment with policy and regulatory matters - that are needed to develop the capacity and enabling environment for agricultural innovation. The information is largely drawn from the Agricultural Innovation Systems: An Investment Sourcebook (
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