Value chain innovations for technology transfer in developing and emerging economies: Conceptual issues, typology, and policy implications
This article in the journal Food Policy addresses the question how value chain organization and innovations can have an important impact on modern technology adoption. The adoption of modern technologies in agriculture is crucial for improving productivity of poor farmers and poverty reduction. However, the adoption of modern technology has been disappointing. The authors argue that value chain organization and innovations can have an important impact on modern technology adoption, not just by downstream companies, but also by farmers. They systematically documented value chain innovations including smallholder contracting with interlinked technology transfer, triangular guarantee structures with technology suppliers or financial institutions, special purpose vehicles and vertical integration. Several conclusions can be drawn from the analysis and empirical cases. First, value chain technology transfer programs are often driven by a need for quality upgrading. Second, these technology transfer programs have been set up in complex environments. Successful programs create the right conditions for successful and self-enforcing contracting, and are based on extensive knowledge of the sector and of local conditions. Third, many institutional innovations for technology transfer use both a pull and push strategy. The push strategy consists of improving access to technology, while the pull strategy consists of providing better incentives for investments in technological upgrading. Fourth, access to finance by the initiator of the technology transfer program is essential. Fifth, the effects of these programs can be very substantial as they can move the entire value chain towards a higher equilibrium, with impacts for all agents.
The discussion paper, published in 2016, can be found here.