The role of universities in agribusiness innovation and incubation development

Incubators play a significant role in the development of Africa’s agriculture sector. To advance that process, African incubation initiatives must be revived, and research programmes must investigate innovation systems in order to precisely locate incubators among the agricultural stakeholders. The proposed agribusiness incubation hubs under the 2017/2018 RUFORUM Entrepreneurship Challenge Programme call seek to harness knowledge and information infrastructures as underlying mechanisms to encourage demand-driven research and for-profit entrepreneurship in Africa’s agricultural sector. The philosophy behind agribusiness incubation is that, through orchestrating and deliberating linkages among a range of agricultural-associated sectors, African agriculture will benefit from a gush of creative and entrepreneurial energies. Incubators are expected to increase the wealth of their community, by serving businesses and small to medium enterprises to become more competitive in economies. A total of 22 proposals were received under the 2017/2018 RECAP call through the RUFORUM Information Management System (RIMS), all proposals complied with the application guidelines. Nonetheless, four proposals were submitted via email and these were not compliant with the call guidelines. In this call, 64% of the proposals submitted were related to cross-cutting thematic areas, 13.6% on crop production, 13.6 % on farm management and agriculture/natural resource economics and 9.1% on animal production. Most proposed incubation hubs to be developed by universities are focusing on commercial crops. Commercial crop production is a lucrative undertaking. With tremendous rise in urban populations across Africa, the need for fresh foods to cater these people is great. It is, therefore, a good sector for one to make profit, while at the same time contributing to the continent population’s food supply. In addition, commercial crops offer income and employment opportunities to the rural economy.
Date of publication: 
Region Focus: 
Africa Wide
RUFORUM Working document series
Licence conditions: 
Open Access
Access restriction: 
Web resource