New APRA research published on ‘inclusive innovation’ and urban agriculture
A new article incorporating APRA research has recently been published online on the ScienceDirect website. The role of technology in inclusive innovation of urban agriculture attempts to address how technology can provide benefits for marginalised groups, such as women food entrepreneurs.
Inclusive innovation describes the means by which new goods and services are developed for and/or by those who are usually excluded from development projects. These could include bottom of the pyramid urban farmers, who are growing crops in land scarce, densely populated, and polluted areas. Simple innovations, such as sack gardening – a garden created out of a perforated sack- is one such example.
In Kenya, there is a large community of urban farmers who are growing crops in land scarce, densely populated, and polluted areas. Outside of Kenya there are already projects catering for this group, such as in Uganda, where a project helping marginalised women to construct vertical farms in urban areas is well established. The writers make clear that if such marginalised groups are engaged with, then a joint-creation of knowledge can result in further inclusive innovations for urban agriculture.
Three solutions are offered to problems, explained in the article, linked to inclusive innovation projects that may surface in urban agriculture:
- Support to marginalised groups to organise into entrepreneur groups to improve their voice and power.
- Value, document and promote the unique knowledge and innovative practices of marginalised groups in using traditional and scientific knowledge.
- Facilitate inclusive business connections for marginalised groups to sustainably grow their businesses.
Therefore, these solutions are not just pertinent to an urban Kenyan setting but are applicable to urban environments across Africa, and perhaps further afield. This foresight by the authors, geared towards an ever-changing urban environment, provides a solid reason to give this article a read.
The article is co-edited by APRA’s Hannington Odame, along with his colleagues Janice Ghemoh Changeh and John Okoth Otieno from the Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship, and Jash Barack Okeyo-Owuor from the Victoria Institute for Research on Environment and Development.
The role of technology in inclusive innovation of urban agriculture is available to access as a PDF from here. Currently, access is available through a ScienceDirect account or access via your institution.
Cover photo: Sack farm in Nairobi’s Mathare urban settlement. Credit: Meena Kadri on Flickr.