Knowledge Production, Transfer and Utilization in Agriculture: A Case Study of Three Public Universities in Kenya
(Discussant: Anand Murugesan, Assistant Professor, SPP)
The proposed study seeks to explore the role of universities in national development, particularly in the agricultural sector. This will in turn shed light on the potentials of the knowledge of universities in the economy of a developing country, such as Kenya. The study aims to contribute to the body of literature on knowledge economies. The study’s central research question is the following: “what is the role of university research knowledge in the economic development of agricultural economies”? The proposed study is thus concerned with issues surrounding the production and utilization of research knowledge in public universities, and whether such knowledge benefits the (agricultural) economic sector and how. Why tie (public) universities to development? There are three reasons. Firstly, Africa is struggling against various development challenges and is largely classified within the underdeveloped or developing world. Secondly, the public university in Africa, in addition to being publicly funded, has since the granting of colonial independence to the continent, been labelled as “developmental”. The question then becomes, to what extent has the university lived up to this expectation? Thirdly, within the growing knowledge economies in the global context, can the university in Africa aid in the production and transfer of knowledge for the economic development of the continent? The proposed study is anchored within such concepts as the knowledge economy or society, the evolution of the university and its missions, the African university, the developmental university, research utilization, diffusion of innovations, and evidence-based practice.