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This paper explores the effective roles of public research institutions (PRIs) in social innovation and understand the element of communal support in researchers-farmers partnership. The case study on Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) reveals that the partnership between researchers and farmers is limited. The only productive and formal channel for researchers to reach the farmers is through agricultural extension agencies. It found that there are three elements that drive sustainable social innovation in agriculture: (1) quality research by PRIs; (2) efficient extension agency in disseminating knowledge to farmers; and (3) productive farmers in delivering high-yields farming. This paper claimed that the presence of partnership between researchers in PRIs and farmers is the crucial pivot in ensuring innovation reaches the target group. The study also found the potential of civil society organizations to transform farmers into more active innovation actors in the agricultural innovation system


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