The influence of multi-stakeholder networks on the uptake of system of rice intensification among smallholder rice farmers in western Kenya

Matilda A. Ouma, Luke O. Ouma, Justus M. Ombati, Christopher O. Onyango


Multi-stakeholder platforms are useful in driving technology uptake by bringing together stakeholders in a value chain for joint agenda-setting and learning to address a common goal. In this paper, we analyze how multi-stakeholder networks unfold in an innovation platform for networking and capacity building to drive the uptake of the system of rice intensification (SRI) in Oluch irrigation scheme in western Kenya. An innovation platform (IP) was launched at Oluch irrigation scheme in Kenya to enhance networking among stakeholders and facilitate capacity building among farmers. We performed a network analysis to understand the patterns of knowledge exchange among stakeholders in the IP. We further explore the association between innovation platform characteristics and the uptake of SRI practices using regression analyses, correlation analyses and chi-square-tests. Our findings reveal that there was a substantial increase in the uptake of SRI that was largely driven by strategic networks. Extensionists and farmer groups emerged as the most important actors while farmer-to-farmer networks are still nascent in promoting SRI than expected but growing. We conclude by describing the describe a theory of change developed and experienced in the IP. While multi-stakeholder networks may be important drivers of technology uptake, there is a need for careful analysis of strategic networks within the IP that are core to achieving IP goals such as uptake of the technology and ensuring sustainability of the IP.


Innovation platforms; technology uptake; capacity building; participatory learning; rice


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DOI: 10.33687/ijae.011.001.4342


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