Inderscience Publishers

Public–private partnerships for agricultural innovation: concepts and experiences from 124 cases in Latin America

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Public–private partnerships that aim at the development of innovations have gained increasing attention from governments, public research and private companies, because they enable partners to draw from complementary resources and profit from synergy and joint learning. This article develops arguments for when partnerships should form and compares them with experiences in real partnership cases in Latin America. Theoretically, partnerships make sense when no partner can do it alone, when partners gain more than they invest, when there is synergy and when the gains are proportionally distributed. Empirical evidence in Latin America shows that partnerships in agricultural innovation often form without clear perceptions of the costs involved and benefits to be obtained. To make public–private partnerships more viable, both parties should practice coherent planning of how to attain the common objective. However, private partners are usually satisfied with partnerships as the investment is low, in-kind, or can be tax-exempted.

Keywords: agriculture, agricultural innovation, Latin America, public–private partnerships, public research

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