Actor diversity and interactions in the development of banana hybrid varieties in Uganda: implications for technology uptake uri icon


  • Design/methodology/approach: We collected the data through 20 key informant interviews and 5 focus group discussions with actors involved in the process. We analysed the data with NVivo and Social Network Analysis software.
  • Findings: The process of developing HBVs involves many actors with a diversity of roles and interests. The network density was 29.4, implying existence of only 29.4% of the possible direct linkages. Strong ties mainly existed among research-oriented actors, with other actors in the periphery.
  • Originality/value: This work contributes to literature on systems approaches to agricultural and rural development. The paper demonstrates that actor diversity and interactions are critical in technology development and uptake.
  • Practical implications: The current position of smallholder farmers and other non-research actors inhibits their influence on decisions in the technology development process. We recommend that smallholder farmers should be empowered through better organization so that they can influence the process of developing HBVs. Researchers, supported with appropriate policies, should engage more with actors in the intermediary, enterprise and support service domains for a more vibrant agricultural research system.
  • Purpose: We examine the nature of networks through which new hybrid banana varieties (HBVs) in Uganda are developed, and how different actors engage in the technology development process.
  • Theoretical implications: Application of the systems approach to technology development requires a dynamic process that supports involvement of a diverse range of actors. However, close attention to context is important in dealing with issues of power asymmetries and determining to what extent various actors engage in the process.

publication date

  • 2018
  • 2017