Innovation policies institutions and performance: Why Malaysia overtook Nigeria in the oil palm industry
International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development
National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), Obafemi Awolowo University, PMB 012, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
Forty years ago, Nigeria and Malaysia had comparative GDP per capita; Nigeria was the leading oil palm producer and exporter in the world. Within a decade, Malaysia overtook Nigeria both as producer and exporter. This paper provides a comparative perspective of the evolution of institutions and policies contrasting Nigeria and Malaysia over a relatively long period. The aim is to understand, based on the evidence, how and why Malaysia performed so well and Nigeria did not thereby exploring the systemic, remote and immediate causes of the different evolutionary trajectories of the two countries with very similar geographical characteristics. The data for this paper came from a variety of methods including secondary and primary survey as well as face to face interviews. The paper concludes that differential institutions, policies and investment efforts explain much of the catch-up story of the oil palm sectors in the two countries. © 2012 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.