Historical Analysis of the Effectiveness of AKST Systems in Promoting Innovation | 67

orchards (Bhutan, Vietnam and more recently, with WARDA's assistance, introduced to West Africa); stone lines and planting pits for water harvesting and conservation of soil moisture (West African savannah belt); qanats and similar underground water storage and irrigation techniques (Iran, Afghanistan and other arid areas); tank irrigation (India, Sri Lanka); and many aspects of agroforestry, e.g., rubber, cinnamon, and damar agroforests in Indonesia. Over the years they have supported wildlife and biodiversity and rich cultural developments.

     It is this continuing indigenous capacity for placebased innovation that has been almost entirely responsible for the initial bringing together of the science, knowledge and technology arrangements for what have become over time certified systems of agroecological farming such as organic farming, confusingly known also as biological or ecoagriculture; (Badgely et al., 2007) and variants such as permaculture (Mollison, 1988; Holmgren, 2002). Systems such as these are knowledge-intensive, tend to use less or no externally supplied synthetic inputs and seek to generate healthy soils and crops through sustainable management of agroecological cycles within the farm or by exchange among neighboring farms. Although there is considerable variation in the extent to which the actors in diverse settings initially drew on formal science and knowledge, as the products have moved onto local, national, and international markets under various certification schemes the relationships between formal AKST actors and producer organizations have become stronger along the entire chain from seed production to marketing (Badgely et al., 2007). A distinctive feature in these arrangements is the role of specialist farmers in producing certified seed on behalf of or as members of producer organizations.

     The relative lack of firm evidence of the sustainability and productivity of these kinds of certified systems in different settings and the variability of findings from different contexts allows proponents and critics to hold entrenched positions about their present and potential value (Bindraban and Rabbinge, 2005; Tripp, 2005; Tripp, 2006a). However, recent comprehensive assessments conclude that although these systems have limitations, better use of local resources in small scale agriculture can improve productivity and generate worthwhile innovations (Tripp, 2006b) and agroecological/organic farming can achieve high production efficiencies on a per area basis and high energy use efficiencies and that on both these criteria they may outperform conventional industrial farming (Pimentel et al., 2005; Sligh and Christman, 2007; Badgely et al., 2007). Despite having lower labor efficiencies than (highly mechanized) industrial farming and experiencing variable economic efficiency, latest calculations indicate a capability of producing enough food on a per capita basis to provide between 2,640 to 4,380 kilocalories/ per person/per day (depending on the model used) to the current world population (Badgely et al., 2007). Their higher labor demand compared to conventional farming can be considered an advantage where few alternative employment opportunities exist. Organic agriculture as a certified system by 2006 was in commercial practice on 31 million ha in 120 countries and generating US$40 billion per year.

     Innovations with comparable goals but originating in private commercial experience (Unilever, 2005) or in the


context of partnerships among a range of farmers' organizations, public and private commercial enterprises by the mid 1990s were reported with increasing frequency (Grimble and Wellard, 1996). The Northwest Area Foundation experience in the USA (Northwest Area Foundation, 1995), the New Zealand dairy industry (Paine et al., 2000) or farming and wildlife advisory groups in the UK are among the numerous compelling examples of an emerging practice. They indicate a convergence of experience toward a range of options for bringing multifunctional agriculture into widespread practice in diverse settings by working with farmer-participatory approaches in combination with advanced science solutions (Zoundi et al., 2001; Rickert, 2004).

     The continuing role of traditional and local knowledge in AKST for most of the world's small-scale producers in generating innovations that sustain individuals and communities also merits highlighting. Indigenous knowledge (IK) is a term without exact meaning but it is commonly taken to refer to locally bound knowledge that is indigenous to a specific area and embedded in the culture, cosmology and activities of particular peoples. Indigenous knowledge processes tend to be nonformal (even if systematic and rigorous), dynamic and adaptive. Information about such knowledge is usually orally transmitted but also codified in elaborate written and visual materials or artifacts and relates closely to the rhythms of life and institutional arrangements that govern local survival and wellbeing (Warren and Rajasekaran, 1993; DarrĂ©, 1999; Hounkonnou, 2001). Indigenous and local knowledge actors are not necessarily isolated in their experience but actively seek out and incorporate information about the knowledge and technology of others (van Veldhuizen et al., 1997). Sixty years ago such knowledge processes were neglected except by a handful of scholars. From the 1970s onward a range of international foundations, NGOs, national NGOs and CBOs began working locally to support IK processes and harness these in the cause of sustainable agricultural modernization, social justice and the livelihoods of the marginalized (IIRR, 1996; Boven and Mordhashi, 2002). Much more is known today about the institutional arrangements that govern the production of IK in farming (Colchester, 1994; Howard, 2003; Balasubramanian and Nirmala Devi, 2006). Poverty and hunger persist at local levels and among indigenous peoples and this indeed may arise from inadequacies in the knowledge capacity of rural people or the technology available, but field studies of knowledge processes of indigenous peoples, their empirical traditions of enquiry and technology generation capabilities (Gonzales, 1999) establish that that these also can be highly effective at both farm (Brouwers, 1993; Song, 1998; Hounkounou, 2001) and landscape scales (Tiffen et al., 1994; DarrĂ©, 1995). IK related to agriculture and natural resource management is assessed today as a valuable individual and social asset that contributes to the larger public interest (Reij et al., 1996; Reij and Waters-Bayer, 2001; World Bank, 2006) and likely to be even more needed under mitigation of and adaptation to climate change effects.

     However, empirical research shows how economic drivers originating in larger systems of interest tend to undermine the autarchic gains made at local levels or to block further development and upscaling (Stoop, 2002; Unver, 2005). A major challenge to IK and more broadly to FPRE