Between script and improvisation: institutional conditions and their local operation

B. van Mierlo, E. Totin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In Benin, a combination of governmental programmes effectively stimulated rice intensification by providing relevant institutional arrangements such as subsidized seed, credit and a market outlet. In this paper, the authors investigate the institutional character of these programmes by unpacking the rules embedded in them and by showing how farmers mould, reject and change these rules or combine them with local rules – their practices of institutional bricolage. The authors show that the services provided by the programmes had great advantages for rice farmers, but they also had an exclusive character. Because of local bricolage practices, the programmes both affected rice production and helped the rice farmers to deal with conflicts over inequitable land allocation and discriminatory participation in canal cleaning. These findings contribute to discussion of the role of innovation platforms in the stimulation of institutional change and the provision of enabling conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-163
JournalOutlook on Agriculture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • innovation platforms
  • rice production
  • west-africa
  • benin
  • management

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