Innovation Pathways study

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Investigating pathways for agricultural innovation at scale in Brazil, India and Kenya

Innovation for sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI) is challenging. Changing agricultural systems at scale normally means working with partners at different levels to make changes in policies and social institutions, along with technical practices. This study extracts lessons for practitioners and investors in innovation in SAI, based on concrete examples, to guide future investment.

Three country case studies were commissioned by CoSAI and led by Agroicone (Brazil), CEEW (India) and Resource Plan (Kenya). They systematically review SAI innovation success stories at scale in three types of agriculture: small-scale, medium- to large-scale, and urban and peri-urban. The reports examine which factors led to success and how the cases measure up in terms of meeting environmental, social and economic objectives, and managing the trade-offs between them. 

Find out more in this CoSAI policy brief.

The country case studies are complemented by a global synthesis of case studies.


  • Private investors and innovators should seek opportunities where they align on the level of outcomes and larger vision, where they can form synergistic partnerships, and where they can tailor context-specific packages.

  • Investors with risk appetite must lead the way for transformative change, with their willingness to invest in long-term ideas, deploy innovative financing and stay flexible.

  • Public innovators should invest in enhancing social capital and social organizations to facilitate multiplier and spillover effects. Government support can facilitate innovation in a concerted manner as part of the state agenda, and connect with broader agendas like climate action.

  • All innovators need to understand and address bundles of factors affecting scaling including technology, policy, finance, institutions and leadership.

  • Public and private actors should review and adapt innovations over time to meet producer and market needs, and invest in the continuity and quality of extension and advisory services.


Read our policy brief to learn more.