Adapting the innovation systems approach to agricultural development in Vietnam: challenges to the public extension service [Book Review]

Agriculture and Human Values 30 (4):555-568 (2013)

Competing models of innovation informing agricultural extension, such as transfer of technology, participatory extension and technology development, and innovation systems have been proposed over the last decades. These approaches are often presented as antagonistic or even mutually exclusive. This article shows how practitioners in a rural innovation system draw on different aspects of all three models, while creating a distinct local practice and discourse. We revisit and deepen the critique of Vietnam’s “model” approach to upland rural development, voiced a decade ago in this journal. Our analysis of interviews with grassroots extension workers and extension managers reveals how they have received government, donor, and academic discourses on participation, user-orientation, and private sector involvement in innovation. Extension workers as well as managers integrate the reform discourses into the still-dominant transfer of technology model. We show how extensionists draw selectively on these diverse discourses to foster interaction with outsiders and clients, and bolster their livelihood strategies. We conclude that the conceptual framework suggested by the innovation systems (IS) approach is broadly appropriate for analyzing the Vietnamese case, but that the IS approach in the contemporary Vietnamese context requires adaptation for taking into account the blurred line between private and state sectors, and recognizing the hegemonic position of state-based networks. Improving extensionists’ ability to mediate between the conflicting principles of farmers’ self-organization and government control is identified as a key challenge for increasing innovative capacity in rural upland Vietnam
Keywords Innovation systems  Agricultural extension  Demand-orientation  Vietnam  Uplands
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10460-013-9433-y
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 49,017
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Review of Range Production and Management Extension Activities in Kenya. [REVIEW]E. K. Maranga - 1998 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 11 (2):131-144.
The Legitimacy of the Agricultural Extension Service.Ulrich Nitsch - 1988 - Agriculture and Human Values 5 (4):50-56.
Legal Implications in Development and Use of Expert Systems in Agriculture.Willard Downs & Kelley Ann Newton - 1989 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 2 (1):53-58.
文化•创新文化•自主创新.ShanKan He - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 22:143-157.


Added to PP index

Total views
17 ( #549,249 of 2,310,674 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #518,176 of 2,310,674 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature