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Written Paper

Building public–private partnerships for agricultural innovation in Latin America: lessons from capacity strengthening  [2007]

F. Hartwich M.V. Gottret S. Babu J. Tola

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This report outlines how public-private partnerships (PPPs) constitute a new mode of operation in many fields of development, including the development of innovation in developing country agriculture. Capacities to identify opportunities, develop common interests, and negotiate commitments are prerequisites for successful public-private partnerships. Yet, many PPPs fail due to lack of both skills among the partnering agents and efforts to strengthen these skills. This paper examines seven cases of PPP building in which private sector companies, producer associations, and research organisations engage in collaboration for the purpose of developing innovations in agricultural production and value chains.<br /><br />The paper concludes that facilitation of the partnering process in the seven cases studied prompts six main actions and recommendations:<br /> capacity strengthening in partnership building is specific to the value chains and actors it involves capacity strengthening for partnership building goes beyond traditional training to include horizontal learning among the partners determining when to enter into a partnership depends on the partners analytical skills and the information available on technological and market opportunities the choice of appropriate capacity strengthening measures depends on the existing level of cohesion among the potential partners strengthening partnership-building capacity should predominantly focus on identifying an
d exploring common interests among potential partners through a variety of tools that help clarify interests in terms of technology development, production, and sales it is important to have at least one visionary leader among the partners, be it in the private sector or in the public research community. The leader supplies the capacity for sectoral analysis in the partnership and can help to clarify and communicate the advantages the partnership offers. <br />