Stakeholders in innovation: the case of rock phosphate fertilizer research in western Kenya

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Braun, Heidi

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University of Guelph


This study is an analysis of multi-stakeholder participation in the process of agricultural innovation, looking at the specific case of research carried out to test an indigenous rock phosphate (RP) fertilizer with smallholder farmers in western Kenya. The aim of the study is to explore the stakeholder and linkage elements of research on RP fertilizer and to investigate the main constraints to more widespread use of the technology. Qualitative data from diverse stakeholders confirms the complex nature of innovation processes and the importance of developing sufficient and strong linkages. Evidence of weak linkages, short-term linkages, and a vacuum of responsibility is presented. Availability and cost continue to limit farmer adoption of RP. Findings point to the importance of attending to supply-side issues in research and the challenges involved in multi-stakeholder processes. Both technical and institutional innovations are required to address the current barriers constraining adoption of RP in western Kenya.



Kenya, Fertilizer, Indigenous rock phosphate, Stakeholders, Farmer adoption