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Abstract

This study develops a multi-equation partial equilibrium model of the Malawi maize market which is linked sequentially to a local maize economy to show that the skepticism surrounding the use of innovation systems in agricultural research in Africa is not unfounded. The results demonstrate that participating households have the potential to be negatively affected by greater linkages with the market given policy shocks. Therefore in order for the innovation systems perspective in agricultural research to be effective in sustaining robust livelihoods in Africa and to ensure sustainable utilization of natural resources; interventions must be implemented only after systematic analysis of the potential consequences of the resultant macro-micro linkages; thus ensuring harmony between policies and micro-level livelihood strategies.

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