The outward journey of a local innovation: the dissemination of an artisanal irrigation pivot from Algeria’s Sahara

User-led innovation is increasingly happening in a globalized context, connecting local experience to outside ideas, knowledge, and technologies. Alternatively, local innovations designed, manufactured and marketed for a particular context travel to other settings. We analyze the diffusion of a low-cost artisanal irrigation pivot from the Suf Valley (Algeria) to other Saharan regions and even to Saudi Arabia and Sudan. We conducted 27 semi-structured interviews with manufacturers, farmers, government agents, and made field observations on 18 farms in 2020/2021. The diffusion of the pivot was enabled by extending the innovation system to trusted innovation intermediaries in new settings, who played an active role in adapting the technology and support services to local agrarian systems. However, while the innovation homeland can be considered an open innovation environment, manufacturing and after-sales services in the new settings were tightly controlled by manufacturers to secure intellectual property and maintain a monopoly. This study contributes to the debate on the creativity of local innovation actors and their involvement in (supra)national agricultural development.