Knowledge for Development

Feature articles

Determinants of organisational and institutional innovation in the horticultural sectors of ACP countries

Innovation is a central part of agriculture’s adaptation to development issues linked to poverty reduction, the protection of environmental resources and competitiveness. In the horticulture industries (bananas, mangoes, citrus fruits, green beans, flowers, etc.) of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, logistics innovations (maritime shipping, reefer ships, cold chain) related to the globalization of companies partly explain the growth of international trade.[1] [2] The concept of innovation encompasses various disciplines (economics, sociology, management, etc.), outputs (products and processes) and characteristics (technological, organisational, institutional, etc.). Transversely, innovation refers to the processes of interaction that generate knowledge from which inventions originate and that integrate the invention into the production system, procedures and global value chains (Temple et al., 2011). These processes are governed by institutional variables related to market access conditions (logistics, standards and regulations), resources (input, information, knowledge and funding) and the rules of social cohesion (values, culture and politics). They are sped up by entrepreneurs from major stakeholders, central to which are companies.We propose to explain how the development of horticultural products of ACP countries to supply local, regional or international markets is related to determinants of innovation. We will structure the analysis by distinguishing between the exogenous or endogenous nature of these determinants in relation to the geographic location of the innovations. The objective is to create an analytical framework for understanding public sector innovation policies and the investment strategies of businesses, producer organisations and NGOs.[1]        All production, trade and service businesses with horticulture as the main activity.[2]        Broad definition of the horticulture of all products (fruits, vegetables, flowers, etc.) with characteristics such as perishability, fragility, etc. that determine technological innovations.


Adding Value to Tropical Fruits – The Case of the Jamaican Ackee Industry: Lessons for Policy and Practice.

The ackee fruit (Blighia sapida K.D. Koenig) is the emblem of Jamaican national identity. It is speculated that the ackee tree is native to the forest of the Guinea Coast of tropical West Africa, where it is admired as an ornamental shading plant and used in the construction of furniture (Seaforth, 1963). During the era of the Atlantic Slave trade in the 1700s, when millions of Africans were transported to the Caribbean, they brought with them ackee seeds, which were used for fishing. The shiny black seed contains saponin, a physiologically active polyphenolic compound that forms a soapy lather with water, and this active ingredient is poisonous to fish (Davidson, 1971).The edible portion of the fruit, the aril, is eaten in Nigeria, where it is known as ishin. Indigenous knowledge about the ackee fruit was carried to the Caribbean region, specifically Jamaica, where it is the main ingredient in the national dish known as “ackee and cod fish” (Royes and Baccus, 1988). This tropical fruit is processed and exported as a canned product but the industry faces many challenges. The scientific and engineering community has responded to save the industry but quality and safety issues continue to hinder expansion on the international market.The ackee fruit is a capsule that is green when young, becoming yellow to red, reaching 7.7-10 cm long at full maturity (Mitchell et al., 2008). The fruit develops into a red-coloured fleshy three-celled capsule, made up of three valves with a septa in the middle. The seeds are black; one in each cell with a fleshly aril around its base, and the aril is attached to the placenta by a red membrane. The aril is the edible part of the fruit consumed after the complete removal of the seed and the red membrane to which it is attached (Figure 1). The average ackee pod usually contains three pegs; less frequently, two or four pegs and rarely five pegs are noted (Barnett, 1939). Figure 1. Unripe ackee fruits (1) and ripe open ackee fruits (2) showing carp (A), seeds (B) and arilli (C).


Bio-economy and green growth: Integrating farmers’ knowledge for a public goods-oriented approach

The bio-economy and green growth have been on the international policy agenda for several years. Two main views prevail concerning the ‘bio-economy’ – an industrial perspective, and the other a public goods perspective – each promoting different futures for agricultural systems and farmers’ roles; some address both perspectives.