In general, developing countries applied similar agricultural research policies: separation of financing and implementation of research, reductions in direct budgetary allocations to research and extension institutions, elimination or major reduction of public extension, and introduction of competitive grants programs to induce a transformation of research organizations. Strong anecdotal information suggests that these policies had limited impact. Using a different set of instruments, the Mexican Produce Foundations (PF), led by innovative farmers, had major and diverse impacts on the agricultural innovation and research systems.
These impacts resulted mostly from activities the PF introduced as they learned to manage competitive funds for research and extension. The PF were able to introduce these activities because they developed strong abilities to learn, including identifying knowledge gaps and defining strategies to fill them. This presentation will focus on how an organization that manages public funds for research and extension could sustain organizational innovations over extended periods, and how it could learn and adapt to maximize its impact on the agricultural innovation system.
Previous studies found that human resources, organizational cultures and governance structures are three of the most important factors influencing institutional change and innovative capabilities. Despite their importance, these factors have been largely neglected in the literature on agricultural research and extension policies. seminar analyzes what role these factors played in the Mexican experience.