Inclusive and Sustainable Territories and Landscapes Platform

Rural innovation


We support investments that encourage the contribution of rural producers, from the identification of their own needs, to develop innovation agendas and interventions to improve the competitiveness of production chains.

Conceptual framework

In the face of the major global challenges associated with food security, the deterioration of natural resources, the impacts of climate change and the volatile prices of food, innovation has become a key ally for the sustainable development and competitiveness of rural communities.

Rural innovation encompasses many different dimensions (social, technological-productive, institutional, spatial), and should be addressed from (i) an integrated approach involving the participation of local actors and (ii) a sectoral approach in order for the agents of production, transformation and commercialization to steer the development of innovations towards a greater competitiveness of productive chains and the territory.

It has been demonstrated that the ability to innovate is associated with a solid capacity for research, collective action, networks, coordination, information exchange, and cooperation between different actors. The intermediate agents, or “innovation brokers,” include a wide spectrum of people and organizations, both public and private.

The singularity and productive vocation of each territory, its ecosystem and particular agrodiversity are key to developing an innovation agenda. National innovation systems that are applied locally must be complementary to innovation initiatives arising from territorial planning and incorporate community participation and grassroots organizations among its methodologies.

Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) focus on producers’ contributions and experiences, as well as the importance of involving multiple actors and multiple innovation perspectives. AIS promote decentralized spaces for dialog using participatory methodologies, giving priority to the requirements of rural actors and responding to the needs of the territories.

The primary sector offers territories huge potential for innovation. Aspects such as food security, poverty reduction, respecting the environment, traceability, logistics, new consumption patterns, and biofuel production, are the subject of research and specialization in many territories with a strong agricultural component.

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