This document sets out how EU Research and Innovation (R&I) policy contributes to the major global challenge of ensuring food and nutrition security (FNS). It is a first step in the further development of a more coherent approach to European R&I which aims at mobilising resources and stakeholders to set out aligned R&I agendas in response to recent international political drivers such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the COP 21 climate commitments. It also aims to respond to the current EU political priorities of growth, jobs and investments, an energy union for a low-carbon, secure and competitive economy, the digital single market, a more democratic Union, Europe as a stronger global actor and the circular economy package. The document takes stock of key achievements and developments within EU R&I policy in support of FNS. It serves as input to debates taking place during the European Commission High Level Conference of 12-13 October 2016 entitled FOOD 2030: Research and Innovation for tomorrows' nutrition and food systems.
This paper investigates the introduction of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) in Canino's area (Italy), from an agricultural innovation system (AIS) perspective focusing on the roles of the innovation actors and the innovation impact pathway. The IPM research in Canino was conducted with a wide range of actors including research, advisory services, producer cooperatives and the private sector in a favourable policy environment facilitating the fast and wide adoption of IPM. The authors argue that we need to adopt system thinking, which is a way of thinking of the whole – including abstract and tangible components and their interconnections.
This document collects a series of fact sheets realized under the EU-funded SALSA project, which is aimed to understand how small farms and food businesses contribute to sustainable food and nutrition security (FNS).
The research findings in the fact sheets concern 30 reference regions from countries in Europe and Africa. For each region, we present:
● The regional indicators on the concentration and spatial distribution of small farms (SF), obtained also with support of the Sentinel-2 satellite data
● The results of the analysis of the SF contribution to the regional food availability, based on the preliminary identification of key products
● The five types of SF, highlighting the most present ones in the region
● The perspectives of the SF into the future, based on the interviews with small farmers conducted in the region
● The governance arrangements that enable and disable the ability of SF to contribute to the regional FNS.
The fact sheets have been officially presented and discussed in 2019 during policy workshops at the macro-regional level. The four macro-regional areas into which the factsheets are grouped are:
Central & Eastern Europe
Africa–Europe Cooperation and Digital Transformation explores the opportunities and challenges for cooperation between Africa and Europe in the digital sphere.
Digitalisation and digital technologies are not only essential for building competitive and dynamic economies; they transform societies, pose immense challenges for policymakers, and increasingly play a pivotal role in global power relations. Digital transformations have had catalytic effects on African and European governance, economies, and societies, and will continue to do so. The COVID-19 pandemic has already accelerated the penetration of digital tools all over the globe and is likely to be perceived as a critical juncture in how and to what purpose the world accepts and uses new and emerging technologies. This book offers a holistic analysis of how Africa and Europe can manage and harness digital transformation as partners in a globalised world. The authors shed light on issues ranging from economic growth, youth employment, and gender, to regulatory frameworks, business environments, entrepreneurship, and interest-driven power politics. They add much-needed perspectives to the debates that shape the two continents’ digital transformation and innovation environments.
This book will interest practitioners working in the areas of innovation, digital technologies, and digital entrepreneurship, as well as students and scholars of international relations. It will also be relevant for policymakers, regulators, decision-makers, and leaders in Africa and Europe.
The determination of bunch features that are relevant for bunch weight estimation is an important step in automatic vineyard yield estimation using image analysis. The conversion of 2D image features into mass can be highly dependent on grapevine cultivar, as the bunch morphology varies greatly. This paper aims to explore the relationships between bunch weight and bunch features obtained from image analysis considering a multicultivar approach. A set of 192 bunches from four cultivars, collected at sites located in Portugal and South Africa, were imaged using a conventional digital RGB camera, followed by image analysis, where several bunch features were extracted, along with physical measurements performed in laboratory conditions. Image data features were explored as predictors of bunch weight, individually and in a multiple stepwise regression analysis, which were then tested on 37% of the data. The results show that the variables bunch area and visible berries are good predictors of bunch weight (R2 ranging from 0.72 to 0.90); however, the simple regression lines fitted between these predictors and the response variable presented significantly different slopes among cultivars, indicating cultivar dependency. The elected multiple regression model used a combination of four variables: bunch area, bunch perimeter, visible berry number, and average berry area. The regression analysis between the actual and estimated bunch weight yielded a R2 = 0.91 on the test set. Our results are an important step towards automatic yield estimation in the vineyard, as they increase the possibility of applying image-based approaches using a generalized model, independent of the cultivar.
The digital transformation in agriculture introduces new challenges in terms of data, knowledge and technology adoption due to critical interoperability issues, and also challenges regarding the identification of the most suitable data sources to be exploited and the information models that must be used. DEMETER (Building an Interoperable, Data-Driven, Innovative and Sustainable European Agri-Food Sector) addresses these challenges by providing an overarching solution that integrates various heterogeneous hardware and software resources (e.g., devices, networks, platforms) and enables the seamless sharing of data and knowledge throughout the agri-food chain. This paper introduces the main concepts of DEMETER and its reference architecture to address the data sharing and interoperability needs of farmers, which is validated via two rounds of 20 large-scale pilots along the DEMETER lifecycle. This paper elaborates on the two pilots carried out in region of Murcia in Spain, which target the arable crops sector and demonstrate the benefits of the deployed DEMETER reference architecture.
The potential beneficial and harmful social impacts generated by the introduction of novel technologies, in general, and those concerning nutrient recovery and the improvement of nutrient efficiency in agriculture, in particular, have received little attention, as shown in the literature. This study investigated the current social impacts of agricultural practices in Belgium, Germany and Spain, and the potential social impacts of novel technologies introduced in agriculture to reduce nutrient losses. Based on 65 indicators used in the PSILCA database, the greatest impacts in the baselines are related to fair salaries, biomass consumption, industrial water depletion and public sector corruption. The potential social impacts of the technologies were assessed using 17 midpoint indicators that have a potential to affect social endpoints. The potential benefits of novel agricultural technologies were the creation of more attractive jobs in agriculture, and a better and healthier environment for local communities, workers and society. However, their harmful effects mainly related to workers and local community health, due to the substances used in the technologies and the potential gases emitted. Given the current lack of Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA) studies on novel technologies in agriculture, this study is the first to use the PSILCA database to assess different technologies for nutrient recovery in agriculture in an initial and prospective assessment of their potential social impacts. Further work is required for a site-specific assessment of the technologies when a higher level of social adaptation is achieved.
This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, explores the working conditions of migrant women in agriculture in the EU, focusing on some case studies in Italy and Spain. In particular, it aims to examine the factors that render women vulnerable to exploitation, paying attention to gendered dynamics and power relations. The study contends that to prevent and combat exploitation in agriculture it is necessary to implement concerted actions aimed at tackling, from a human rights and gender perspective, the structural factors of a socio economic system which fosters and relies on workers’ vulnerability.
This evaluation seeks to understand the impact which certain measures of the CAP have had on reducing GHG emissions, agriculture’s vulnerability to climate change and its ability to provide adaptation and mitigation services to society. Most of the CAP measures analysed do not have climate action as their intended purpose but may have it as a secondary purpose. Some, such as those which sustain certain forms of agricultural production responsible for emissions, exist for economic, social and sometimes other environmental reasons. We examine the overall relevance, effectiveness and coherence with each other of all measures and instruments covered by the study in respect of climate action. For those measures which are (or can reasonably be) targeted at climate objectives we look at how efficiently they work to this end and whether they do so in a way which is coherent with the CAP’s other economic, environmental and social objectives and delivers EU added-value. We look at the impact on production of these measures as well as the part played by the CAP in driving emissions associated with food, feed and biofuels systems in the bio economy. Finally we consider the factors which have enhanced or hindered agriculture’s ability to reduce emissions and to adapt to climate change and make recommendations. The study is based on the CAP measures and their implementation as they stood following the 2013 CAP reform but takes into account relevant evidence from the period since 2003. We took as our counterfactual an EU without the CAP. As far as possible therefore we seek to understand how net emissions within the EU, and the state of adaptation to climate change, would have differed had the CAP not been in place. We consider the role of emissions leakage – when additional or reduced production within the EU leads to changes outside the Union thereby changing the location of emissions and sometimes their extent. However detailed modelling of such leakage is beyond the scope of this study.
This brochure gives an overview of the work of of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS). It illustrates history, main objectives and medium to long-term plan of JIRCAS for the period 2021-2025. The three main programs of JIRCAS - focused, respectively on Food, Environment and Information - are also presented.
As climate change continues to drive food insecurity, addressing the risks of climate change across the value chain – especially agricultural products that are important to food and nutrition security – will yield significant adaptation benefits to vulnerable small producers and rural communities at large. This will support global efforts to end hunger and poverty, build more effective farming practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and accelerate the ambition of Nationally Determined Contributions to the Paris Agreement.
We present a model for research and development (R&D) investment in food innovations based on new plant engineering techniques (NPETs) and traditional hybridization methods. The framework combines uncertain and costly food innovation with consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for the new food. The framework is applied with elicited WTP of French and US consumers for new improved apples. NPETs may be socially beneficial under full information and when the probability of success under NPETs is relatively high. Otherwise, the traditional hybridization is socially optimal. A probable collapse of conventional apples raises the social desirability of new apples generated by NPETs and traditional hybridization.
Sorghum crop is grown under tropical and temperate latitudes for several purposes including production of health promoting food from the kernel and forage and biofuels from aboveground biomass. One of the concerns of policy-makers and sorghum growers is to cost-effectively predict biomass yields early during the cropping season to improve biomass and biofuel management. The objective of this study was to investigate if Sentinel-2 satellite images could be used to predict within-season biomass sorghum yields in the Mediterranean region. Thirteen machine learning algorithms were tested on fortnightly Sentinel-2A and Sentinel-2B estimates of the fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (fAPAR) in combination with in situ aboveground biomass yields from demonstrative fields in Italy. A gradient boosting algorithm implementing the xgbtree method was the best predictive model as it was satisfactorily implemented anywhere from May to July. The best prediction time was the month of May followed by May–June and May–July. To the best of our knowledge, this work represents the first time Sentinel-2-derived fAPAR is used in sorghum biomass predictive modeling. The results from this study will help farmers improve their sorghum biomass business operations and policy-makers and extension services improve energy planning and avoid energy-related crises.
This study analyses the impact of the transfer of technological information (among other a priori identified factors) on the uptake of innovative crop technologies using structural equation modelling of data from a representative survey of Scottish crop farmers. The model explains 83% of the variance in current technological uptake behaviour and 63% of the variance in intentions to uptake new technologies. Results show economic characteristics (profit orientation, agricultural income, technological investment behaviour and farm labour) to have the strongest effect on both uptake and intentions to uptake novel technologies. Education, access to technological information and perceived usefulness of sources of information transfer are also main influences on behaviour and intentions. Technological uptake behaviour is a strong determinant of intentions to uptake more technologies in the future. The results confirm established evidence from the literature that, besides economic factors, access to technological information and trust in/perceived usefulness of the different information sources will have an impact on technological uptake. The findings are highly policy relevant as they give some indication of the factors influencing the process of targeting specific technological information transfer through the appropriate channels to agricultural producers, which builds a potential driver of behavioural change.
Improvements in the sustainability of agricultural production depend essentially on advances in the efficient use of nitrogen. Precision farming promises solutions in this respect. Variable rate technologies allow the right quantities of fertilizer to be applied at the right place. This helps to both maintain yields and avoid nitrogen losses. However, these technologies are still not widely adopted, especially in small-scale farming systems. Recent developments in sensing technologies, like drones or satellites, open up new opportunities for variable rate technologies. In this paper, we develop a bio-economic modelling framework to assess the usefulness of different sensing approaches in variable rate fertilization to measure environmental heterogeneity at field level, ranging from satellite imagery to drones and handheld N-sensors. We assess the utility of these sensing technologies and quantify the effects on yields, nitrogen input and associated net returns using wheat production in Switzerland as our case study. Our results show that net profits increase when a high-resolution technology is applied to fields which exhibit higher spatial heterogeneity of soil conditions and lower spatial autocorrelation of different soil types. However, even with a high degree of spatial heterogeneity within a field, both the overall utility of variable rate fertilization and the absolute differences in the net returns between the technologies remain low. Our results suggest that the additional cost of using a drone that provides the highest resolution should not exceed 4.5 CHF/ha compared to the use of a standard N-sensor or satellite imagery. Thus, the adoption of variable rate technologies depends essentially on the additional economic and environmental effects they generate. Therefore, it might be necessary to implement specific policy measures, such as taxes on nitrogen in combination with subsidies. Moreover, specific technology providers, such as contractors, may play a vital role in technology uptake since the economic benefits might only play out at larger spatial levels.
Familiar mixed dairy sheep farm is the most widespread system in the Mediterranean basin, in Latin America and in developing countries (85%). There is a strong lack of technological adoption in packages of feeding and land use in small-scale farms. To increase competitiveness, it would be of great interest to deepen the knowledge of how innovation was selected, adopted, and spread. The objective of this research was to select strategic feeding and land use technologies in familiar mixed dairy sheep systems and later assess dairy sheep farms in Spain. This objective was assessed by combining qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In the first stage, with the aim to identify and select the appropriate technologies, a panel of 107 experts in dairy sheep production was used. A questionnaire was applied to all of them with successive rounds using Delphi methodology. Later, these technologies were grouped by principal components analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis (CA). In a second stage the technological results from a random sample of 157 farms in the Center of Spain were collected. The technologies selected were linked to the technological adoption level of the farms in Castilla la Mancha by a multiple regression model. Ten technologies were selected by the 107 experts. Four factors were retained by PCA that explained at 67.11% of variance. The first factor is related to feeding strategies, the second to land use for livestock production, the third to efficient management of land resources or ecoefficiency and the fourth to by-products use. The expert evaluation was grouped in three clusters using the Ward’s method and the squared Euclidean distance measure, where the second showed higher values in the adoption level of each technology. The multiple regression model explained the relationship between the technologies and the technological level of the farms (R2 73.53%). The five technologies selected were: use of unifeed (1), supplemental feeding (5), grazing (6), raw materials production (7) and sustainable use of water and soil (10). These ten technologies identified can be directly extended to small-scale dairy farms from other countries in the Mediterranean basin and Latin America. This technological selection was supported from the broad and diverse panel of experts used. Besides, five technologies identified by the quantitative model will be able to be taken into account for the development of public innovation policies. They are direct technologies and easy to apply on the farm and seeking increased viability through innovation vs. intensification.
The process of adopting innovation, especially with regard to precision farming (PF), is inherently complex and social, and influenced by producers, change agents, social norms and organizational pressure. An empirical analysis was conducted among Italian farmers to measure the drivers and clarify “bottlenecks” in the adoption of agricultural innovation. The purpose of this study was to analyze the socio-structural and complexity factors that affect the probability to adopt innovations and the determinants that drive an individual’s decisions. Preliminary results found high levels of adoption among younger farmers, those that had a high level of education, those with high intensity of information, with large farm sizes, and high labor intensity. A logit model was used to understand the role played by labor intensity and perceived in the adoption process. In light of the Common Agricultural Policy Reform post 2020, the findings suggest relevant policy implications, such as the need to increase awareness of PF tools and foster dissemination of information aimed at reducing the degree of perceived complexity.
Precision Agriculture (PA) has been advocated as a promising technology and management philosophy that provides multidimensional benefits for producers and consumers while being environmentally friendly. In Europe, private stakeholders (farm advisors, farm equipment producers, decision support providers, farmers) and research institutions have been trying to develop, test and demonstrate adoption of precision agriculture solutions with governments financing big projects in these areas. Despite these efforts, adoption is still lagging behind expectations.
Whether farmers adopt PA or not is likely to be influenced by several factors. This study intends to identify the main socio-economic determinants of adoption of precision agriculture in Denmark and Germany employing a binary logit model on a cross-section survey data. The results show that farm size, farmer age and demonstration and networking events like attending workshops and exhibitions significantly influence farmers’ adoption decision.
Innovation rests not only on discovery but also on cooperation and interactive learning. In agriculture, forestry and related sectors, multi-actor partnerships for ‘co-innovation’ occur in many forms, from international projects to informal ‘actor configurations’. Common attributes are that they include actors with ‘complementary forms of knowledge’ who collaborate in an innovation process, engage with a ‘larger periphery’ of stakeholders in the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) and are shaped by institutions. Using desk research and interviews, we reviewed, according to the Organisational Innovation Systems framework, the performance of 200 co-innovation partnerships from across Europe, selected for their involvement of various actors ‘all along the process’. Many of the reviewed partnerships were composed of actors that had previously worked together and most interviewees believed that no relevant actors had been excluded. In almost all cases, project targets and objectives were co-designed to a great or some extent, and the mechanisms applied to foster knowledge sharing between partners were considered to be very effective. Great importance was attached to communication beyond the partnership, not simply for dissemination but also for dialogue, and most interviewees evaluated the communication/outreach performance of their partnership very highly. Most partnerships received external funding, most did not use innovation brokers during the proposal writing process and two thirds had access to information they needed. We discuss the implications of these findings and question whether the AKIS concept as currently interpreted by many policy makers can adequately account for the regional differences encountered by co-innovation partnerships across Europe.
Indicator-based tools are widely used for the assessment of farm sustainability, but analysts still face methodological and conceptual issues, including data availability, the complexity of the concept of sustainability and the heterogeneity of agricultural systems. This study contributes to this debate through the illustration of a procedure for farm sustainability assessment focussed on the case study of the South Milan Agricultural Park, Italy. The application is based on a set of environmental, social and economic indicators retrieved from the literature review. The framework is based on three main steps: (i) Data collection mainly through interviews with farmers and institutions; (ii) data elaboration through an aggregative structure; and (iii) score analysis. The latter step includes a descriptive analysis that allows a comparison among farms or groups of farms and a principal components analysis that helps to confirm the dimensions in which indicators were previously included (components). Results derived from the sampled farms show that the framework can provide easy-to-read results useful at different levels. The study highlighted the procedures for the framework construction that is compatible with the region’s context and objectives, using an analytical approach that aims at the use of balanced features of availability and reliability of data.
Crop surface models (CSMs) representing plant height above ground level are a useful tool for monitoring in-field crop growth variability and enabling precision agriculture applications. A semiautomated system for generating CSMs was implemented. It combines an Android application running on a set of smart cameras for image acquisition and transmission and a set of Python scripts automating the structure-from-motion (SfM) software package Agisoft Photoscan and ArcGIS. Only ground-control-point (GCP) marking was performed manually. This system was set up on a barley field experiment with nine different barley cultivars in the growing period of 2014. Images were acquired three times a day for a period of two months. CSMs were successfully generated for 95 out of 98 acquisitions between May 2 and June 30. The best linear regressions of the CSM-derived plot-wise averaged plant-heights compared to manual plant height measurements taken at four dates resulted in a coefficient of determination R2 of 0.87 and a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 0.08 m, with Willmott’s refined index of model performance dr equaling 0.78. In total, 103 mean plot heights were used in the regression based on the noon acquisition time. The presented system succeeded in semiautomatedly monitoring crop height on a plot scale to field scale.
How we eat has a major impact on our individual health status, our quality of life and our well-being. Many of the foods we eat have a major social, environmental, climate and animal welfare footprint. This expertise defines policies to promote sustainability in food consumption as policies that integrate all four target dimensions: human health, social aspects, the natural environment (including climate) and animal welfare. Achieving greater sustainability in food consumption poses great challenges. The necessary progress can only be achieved with a comprehensive transformation of today’s food system.
The question of what constitutes greater sustainability in food consumption is more difficult to answer than often assumed by the public. As consumers, we are at the same time confronted with food environments that run counter to more sustainable shopping and eating habits. In view of this, the WBAE recommends that consumers should be given much more support in achieving greater sustainability in food consumption through the design of appropriate food environments. To this end, it is first of all necessary to reduce factors in today's prevailing food environments that hamper sustainability in food consumption (e.g. large portion sizes and high advertising expenditure on unhealthy foods). Secondly, it is important to offer food choices that are more health-promoting and have greater social, environmental and animal-welfare compatibility to make it easier to identify more sustainable options, to facilitate access to information and to set price incentives that entice consumers to opt for the more sustainable choice.
Networks and partnerships are commonly-used tools to foster knowledge sharing between actors and organisations in the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS), but in Europe the policy emphasis on including users, such as farmers and foresters, is relatively recent. This paper assesses user involvement in a diverse set of European Union (EU)-funded and non-EU (formal and informal) multi-actor partnerships. This research used a common methodology to review several forms of multi-actor partnerships involving users and other actors. Our data suggest that many of these are effective methods of supporting co-innovation and are, therefore, ‘sharing the space’ within the AKIS.
The paper aims at finding out how significantly stakeholders are consulted and involved by preparers, Ukrainian publicly-listed agricultural companies, while compiling sustainability reporting (SR) and by assurance providers, during assurance processes of SR. The paper’s main research question may be formulated as follows ‘How deeply stakeholders are involved at Ukrainian agricultural companies in the preparation of their sustainability reporting and assurance?’
The challenges faced by agricultural systems call for an advance in risk management (RM) assessments. This research identifies and discusses potential improvements to RM across 11 European Union (EU) farming systems (FS). The paper proposes a comprehensive, participatory approach that accounts for multi-stakeholder perspectives relying on 11 focus groups for brainstorming and gathering suggestions to improve RM. Data analysis is based on content analysis and coding of suggested improvements, and their assessment through the lenses of main challenges faced, farms’ flexibility, and dependence on subsidies. First, the results show that necessary improvements differ depending on whether they have their origin in sudden shocks or long-term pressures. Second, farm dependence on direct payments determines a stronger need to improve financial instruments, whereas farm flexibility suggests a need for more accessible and tailored tools for low-flexibility FS, and increased know-what and know-how for high-flexibility FS. Third, our findings indicate a potential for extending stakeholder involvement in RM to new or unconventional roles. Underlying specific improvements, the paper suggests and discusses three main avenues to improve RM as a whole: i) a developed learning and knowledge network; ii) new forms of collaboration; and iii) integrated financial and policy instruments.
Since the Green Revolution, worldwide agriculture has been characterized by a typical top–down approach. The degree of autonomy, creativity, and responsibility of farmers has been limited by the continuous external inputs of chemicals, machinery, advice, subsidies and knowledge. The issue of sustainability has brought complexity and uncertainty to this mainly linear process of innovation, steering agriculture toward alternative models. Agroecology represents an innovative paradigm of agriculture in which external inputs are minimized, and the assets of the farm are greatly valued. Agroecological production relies on the farmers’ direct management of resources and on their active engagement in the agricultural knowledge and innovation system. This paper focuses on the experience of a group of farmers, scientists, public officials, and managers of private companies who are experimenting with agroecology in rice production in one of the most intensively farmed, profitable and environmentally sensitive areas of Italy. The partnership regularly comes together to discuss agricultural techniques and results, needs, and paths of innovation; in addition, it stimulates and takes part in research projects, following a participatory process based on co-learning and mutual responsibility. By using ethnographic methods such as direct observations and in-depth interviews, our work may contribute to understanding the role of participatory research in sustainable agriculture and what makes for good participation.
Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) proposes environmental policies developed around action-based conservation measures supported by agri-environment schemes (AES). High Nature Value (HNV) farming represents a combination of low-intensity and mosaic practices mostly developed in agricultural marginalized rural areas which sustain rich biodiversity. Being threatened by intensification and abandonment, such farming practices were supported in the last CAP periods by targeted AES. This study aims to identify the most important farming trends in a recognized HNV grasslands Romanian site, subject to public conservation actions. The content analysis of multi-actor focus groups transcripts identifies innovation needs for alternative sustainable HNV farming systems, assessing also the most important barriers for their local deployment. Results show that stakeholders have strong awareness about the existence of HNV farming practices in their territory and their negative trends (abandonment; intensification) that might irreversibly affect biodiversity and cultural values. Current AES could not compensate for the existing innovation gaps. Although local stakeholders have basic awareness about alternative innovative approaches, they failed in their deployment mainly due to the lack of collective actions. Access to adapted knowledge reservoirs and the promotion of local innovation catalyzers are essential for the future sustainability of HNV farming practices.
The French Ministry of Agriculture has called for agro-ecological transitions that reconcile farming and the environment. In this review, we examine the transformations of farmers and AKIS (Agriculture Knowledge Innovation System) actors’ work during agro-ecological transitions, and argue that the content, organization, and aim of farmers’ work are influenced by agricultural training, agricultural development, and discussions between peers, research, and regulations. Our main findings concern those transformations. The first finding was that there is an increasing expression of local particularities (situated ecological processes, micro-climates, etc.) and farmers’ singularities (e.g., relationship with nature). These particularities challenge AKIS players’ forms of organization and intervention, which used to be built on generic knowledge. Our second finding was that AKIS players have to consider their action as one potential contribution to the development of farmers’ experience: Their interventions become part of the flow of the farmer’s activities. The question for AKIS players is then: How can farmers’ own discovery of their natural and technical environment from new perspectives be facilitated? Thirdly, we found that transformations of work are systemic: The “doing”, the knowledge applied, and the values and norms to which subjects refer change. Facilitating transition can no longer be considered as a problem of knowledge availability. Fourthly, production of agronomic knowledge and ways in which it is disseminated are being challenged. Not only does knowledge have to be certified by scientific norms and methods, it has also to be valued by actors if it is to have an impact. The prescriptive relationship of science and AKIS players towards farmers is likewise challenged. This review raises many questions: Do agro-ecological transitions contribute to reorienting the development of farmers’ activity? Are agro-ecological transitions conducive to the development of sustainable farm work? What transformations of AKIS players’ work are needed to better support agro-ecological transitions?
The profound changes in European policy for farms advisory services (FAS) require a period of experimentation and results observation before the new CAP 2021-2027. This paper focuses on Measure 2 of Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020. The paper is focused on the description of case studies in three Italian regions: Campania, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto. Different Measure 2 – sub-measure 2.1 models are analyzed through a qualitative approach, using a conceptual framework adapted by Birner et al. (2009). The paper contributes to the ongoing debate in the scientific literature on the strengths and weakness of policy intervention focused on tailored advisory services to force a broader Agricultural Innovation System.
The two strategic documents for the future of Europe post 2020 (Green Deal) and agriculture in Europe (From Farm To Fork) recognize the important role of knowledge and innovation systems in accelerating change towards food sustainability. Researchers and advisors, together with the other actors of the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System, have the mandate to cooperate more closely to support all on this transition path. This includes stronger and more structured networking, increased information sharing and using digital tools to this effect. The proposed text aims to clarify how a systemic and interactive approach acts towards the above strategic aims in a more effective way, starting from what has already been achieved in this European programming period 2014-2020. A specific focus will be assigned to the EIP-AGRI initiative, to its first results and to its possible evolution.
The European small ruminants (i.e. sheep and goats) farming sector (ESRS) provides economic, social and environmental benefits to society, but is also one of the most vulnerable livestock sectors in Europe. This sector has diverse livestock species, breeds, production systems and products, which makes difficult to have a clear vision of its challenges through using conventional analyses. A multi-stakeholder and multi-step approach, including 90 surveys, was used to identify and assess the main challenges for the sustainability of the ESRS to prioritize actions. These challenges and actions were identified by ESRS experts including farmers, cooperatives, breeding associations, advisers and researchers of six EU countries and Turkey. From the 30 identified challenges, the most relevant were economy-related challenges such as ‘uncertainty of meat and milk prices’, ‘volatility of commodity prices’, ‘low farm income’, ‘high subsidy dependency’ and ‘uncertainty in future changes in subsidies’ resulting in ‘a sector not attractive to young farmers’. Most of these challenges were beyond the farmer’s control and perceived as difficult to address. Thus, improved collaboration among the different stakeholders across the food chain with special implication of farmers, associations of producers, academia and governments is needed to facilitate knowledge exchange and capacity building. These actions can contribute to make ESRS economically more sustainable and to adapt the production systems and policy to the current and future societal needs in a more region-contextualized framework.
The purpose of this article is to assess the inclusivity of on-farm demonstration across Europe, in relation to age, gender, and geographical location of participants. The paper is based on a survey of 1162 on-farm demonstrators (farmers and organisations) and three supraregional workshops. Overall, on farm-demonstrations were found to be engaging young(er) farmers who are at a career stage of being able to implement long-term innovations. However, across Europe demonstrations were primarily attended by men. Demonstrations led by public and privately funded advisory services appear to attract primarily male farmers, thus reinforcing gendered patterns of participation in European agriculture. The location of advisory services and research institutes in high profitability locales disproportionately privileges farmers located there. More targeted efforts are required to ensure the participation of farmers who are female, older and located in less productive regions. The paper draws attention to the lack of inclusivity of on-farm demonstration, developing a conceptual framework based on Lukes’ three faces of power.
Innovation is considered as one of the key drivers for a competitive and sustainable agriculture and the European Commission highlights the importance of tailoring innovation support to farmers’ needs, especially in European Rural Development Policy (reg EU 1305/2013). The scientific literature offers a wide panorama of tools and methods for the analysis of innovation in agriculture but the lack of data on the state of innovation in the farms hampers such studies. A possibility to partially overcome this limit is the use of data collected by the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN). The aim of this study is to propose a method to deduce farms’ innovation needs, related to the macro objectives of European Rural Development Policy, using the economic and financial results of the Italian FADN survey. A list of farm management indicators has been identified connected with the innovation demand. Then, using FADN accounting data, indicators have been calculated for homogeneous groups of farms in terms of territory, economic size, and productive sector. In this way, critical farm issues related to innovation needs have been highlighted Finally, as an example of application, measures of the Rural Development Programs (RDP) have been proposed for each farm critical issue. This method can facilitate policy makers and Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) organizations in identifying some targeted interventions, thanks to a deep analysis of rural contexts and farm systems. The current FADN does not provide specific information concerning the implementation of innovation by farms; for this purpose, new and suitable variables should be added to the annual survey.
The aim of this work was to identify procedures adopted by family farms in the centre and north of Portugal and Galicia (Spain), and to verify whether they resemble those used in organic farming. A checklist was prepared in Portuguese and Spanish and applied personally to managers of family farms. The participation was voluntary and 125 valid responses were collected. The results show that farmers included in the study owned small family farms where labour is mainly performed by the family, and tended to adopt, in general, good agricultural practices, many of which are common to organic farming, such as crop rotation, avoidance of GMO or avoidance of phytoregulators. However, they failed to adopt some important practices, including the use of seeds inoculated with mycorrhizae, composting, biological and biotechnical control or avoidance of chemical control for plant protection. It was further concluded that gender and age of the farmers did not significantly influence the type of agricultural practices, contrarily to the level of education and region, which were significantly associated with many of the cultural interventions investigated.
Industrial agriculture and its requirement for standardized approaches is driving the world towards a global food system, shrinking the role of farmers and shifting decision-making power. On the contrary, a holistic perspective towards a new food-system design could meet the needs of a larger share of stakeholders. Long-term experiments are crucial in this transition, being the hub of knowledge and the workshop of ‘participation in’ and ‘appropriation of’ the research in agriculture over a long term. We present a methodology applied during the creation of a small network of organic farmers in Italy and detail the steps of the co-innovation process implemented. After a context analysis of the area to define the type of research and degree of participation, three steps were performed: (1) Identification of stakeholders; (2) dialogic identification of common activities; and (3) validation and feedback from participants. In the first participatory step, five organic farms were engaged for the second and third steps. We organized meetings to discuss future plans, facilitating the interaction process between farmers and researchers. These activities led to: (i) the definition of a research protocol based on farmers’ research needs for a new long-term experiment; (ii) committing farmers to take an active role in the research; and (iii) hosting experimental satellite trials in their own farms.
Increasing attention is being given to evaluating the impact of advisory services in terms of their effectiveness in providing farmers with knowledge and networks for innovation as well as understanding the factors that influence this effectiveness (Prager et al, 2017). The demand and uptake of advisory services is one factor and Klerkx et al (2017) comment on the variation in farmers’ demand and the influences of variables such as farm size, asset status and education as well as stability or turbulence in the regulatory environment. Some research has started to look at the quality of the service provided by advisors and debates in the literature have paid some attention to the new skills and profiles to be developed by agricultural advisors (Faure et al, 2012) including the importance of credibility and relational trust in the advisor - farmer relationship (Sutherland et al, 2013). Despite general agreement on the importance of social expertise, there are still wide differences in the conceptual understanding of the advisory relationship and how trust and confidence work to provide opportunities for information acquisition and knowledge exchange. Ingram (2008) has shown that farmers can be proactive or reactive in their relationship with advisors and how this relationship may be steered by either party or be more equal. The relationship between advisors and the farmers with whom they work is often one of the most influential in the transfer of knowledge and learning (Kuehne et al., 2015) yet it remains something of an enigma, often more art than science. Despite the diversity in public and private advisory service providers, there is increasing attention being given to the professional formation and continuing professional development of extension professionals (Gorman, 2018). The ProAKIS project called for the introduction and development of certification and accreditation schemes with could establish or strengthen the profession of agricultural advisor with curricula that include methodological emphasis as well as technical know-how. CECRA (European Certificate for Consultants in Rural Areas) is an example of an accreditation scheme for advisors that is focusing on such communication and methodological competencies.
According to the literature on regime transition, niches are sources of innovation that may lead to the transformation of the dominant regime, if processes at other level of the system – the landscape and the mainstream regime - are supportive. A focus on actors involved in the transition process and the analysis of their specific role in knowledge networks can help assessing the robustness of a specific niche and its growth potential. Knowledge systems, and in particular the dynamics of local and expert knowledge, have in fact a key role in innovation models. Different trajectories characterize the transition process, leading to different results: from co-optation and gain in efficiency of the mainstream regime to its radical transformation. Our assumption is that leading actors in the farms' knowledge networks will influence a specific transition trajectory,
Sustainable food systems are fundamental to ensuring that future generations are food secure and eat healthy diets. To transition towards sustainability, many food system activities must be reconstructed, and myriad actors around the world are starting to act locally. While some changes are easier than others, knowing how to navigate through them to promote sustainable consumption and production practices requires complex skill sets.
This handbook is written for “sustainable food systems innovators” by a group of innovators from Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe who are leading initiatives to grow, share, sell and consume more sustainable foods in their local contexts. It includes experiences that are changing the organizational structures of local food systems to make them more sustainable. The handbook is organized as a “choose your own adventure” story where each reader – individually or in a facilitated group – can develop their own personalized learning and action journeys according to their priorities. The topics included in this handbook are arranged into four categories of innovations: engaging consumers, producing sustainably, getting products to market and getting organized.
Short Food Supply Chains (SFSCs) are central to the alternative food movement discourse. SFSCs are based upon the interrelations among actors who are directly involved in the production, processing, distribution, and consumption of food products. They depend upon actors mobilising resources of various kinds: skills; knowledge; labour; capital; buildings etc. External factors such as policies and regulations can also encourage the creation of these shorter chains. The development of SFSCs can still be hindered by a range of other factors. Nevertheless, bottlenecks can be overcome via the sharing of information on successful SFSCs through the dissemination of Good Practices between various actors and territories. The Short Supply Chain Knowledge and Innovation (SKIN) project uses the term ‘good’ rather than ‘best’ practice to draw attention to the subjective lens through which a practice is ultimately evaluated by an end-user. This paper first outlines the many issues that confront SFSC actors which represent bottlenecks to the adoption of ‘Good Practices’. It then documents the Good Practices collected as part of the SKIN project as tangible examples of how SFSCs overcome such challenges. Lessons learnt from project highlights are subsequently assessed in an effort to mitigate and offer solutions to the challenges associated with SFSCs. The paper demonstrates the considerable latent potential inherent to SFSCs. However, in order for the agricultural sector to realise the full promise of short supply chains it must first be conscious of the issues pertinent to their prosperity.
The goal of this paper is to access the state, specify trends, compare with other EU states, and identify intervention needs of Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) in Bulgaria, and assist policy formation for the next programing period. Modern scientific approaches of SWOT, Strategic Orientation, Gap Analysis, Comparative Institutional Analysis, etc. are used to identify actors and relations, trends in development, assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, formulate adequate strategy, and specify overall and public intervention needs of AKIS in the country. Bulgarian AKIS demonstrates low resource endowment and efficiency, domination of outdated public institutions and undeveloped private sector, insufficient sharing of knowledge and innovations, slow and uneven application of modern technologies, varieties, production and management methods, digitalization, etc. in different type of farms, subsectors of agriculture and regions of the country. The list of specified AKIS needs is provided to government for taking a political decision about appropriate measures for public intervention. This study demonstrates that preparation of country’s RDP is (has to be) based of comprehensive scientific approach while research community proves that it can contribute to solving an important academic and practical problem.
Unlike in many other countries, in Bulgaria there are no comprehensive analysis of the state and evolution of the system of knowledge sharing, innovation and digitalization in agriculture (AKIS). The goal of this paper is to fill the gap and analyze the state, efficiency and factors of the agricultural knowledge sharing, innovation and digitalization in Bulgaria at current stage of development. Analysis is based on 2019 expert assessment with 32 leading experts from research institutes of the Agricultural Academy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, agrarian and other universities, National Agricultural Advisory Service, and major professional associations of agricultural producers. The study has found out that AKIS of the country consists of diverse and numerous organizations, for which activities and complex relations have no sufficient official or other reliable information. The expert assessments in that study let us identify the state, and major achievements and challenges in development in of that complex system. The lack of data however, only partially can be compensated by experts’ assessments of this type. It is also necessary to carry out in-depth and representative surveys of individual components and the AKIS as a whole. Furthermore, it is necessary to institutionalize and regulate collection of official statistical, report, etc. information for the state and efficiency of that important system.
Unlike in many other countries, in Bulgaria there are no comprehensive analysis of the state and evolution of the system of knowledge sharing, innovation and digitalization in agriculture (AKIS). The goal of this paper is to fill the gap and analyze the state, efficiency and factors of the agricultural knowledge sharing, innovation and digitalization in Bulgaria at current stage of development. Analysis is based on 2019 expert assessment with 32 leading experts from research institutes of the Agricultural Academy, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, agrarian and other universities, National Agricultural Advisory Service, and major professional associations of agricultural producers. The study has found out that AKIS of the country consists of diverse and numerous organizations, for which activities and complex relations have no sufficient official or other reliable information. The expert assessments in that study let us identify the state, and major achievements and challenges in development in of that complex system. The lack of data however, only partially can be compensated by experts’ assessments of these type. It is also necessary to carry out in-depth and representative surveys of individual components and the AKIS as a whole. Furthermore, it is necessary to institutionalize and regulate collection of official statistical, report, etc. information for the state and efficiency of that important system.
The paper analyses the determinants of farmers’ adoption of innovations and studies the effect of the source of information and the connection with agricultural research on the contribution of innovation to farm performance. The paper uses primary data collected ad hoc in the Province of Bologna (Emilia-Romagna, Italy) and analyses it through an econometric analysis. The results indicate that structural factors and farm specialisation still play a relevant role in innovation adoption. Connection to scientific research triggers significant improvements in terms of value-added and quality of production but does not affect other profitability-related parameters. The results confirm the need for policy to better consider the role of intermediate actors between research and the farmer as well as to better clarify the final performance strategy in order to set the policy instruments right. The paper also highlights the need for further research about farms’ proactivity in searching for and selecting information during the process of innovation adoption and competitive advantages in terms of profitability components
The level of developed countries in the conditions of global competition and open economy in terms of well-being and efficiency cannot be reached, unless the advanced development of the sectors of the economy that determine its specialization in the world economic system is ensured. This will make it possible to actualize national competitive advantages to their maximum. For example, it applies to the agricultural sector, where the transition from export-raw materials to an innovative model of economic growth is linked to the formation of a new mechanism for social development, which is based on the balance of a number of factors, namely, social justice, entrepreneurial freedom, and national competitiveness. The article deals with the problems of the model of economic growth of states, priorities of agricultural development, and directions of its transformation
The quest for innovation lies at the heart of European rural development policy and is integral to the Europe 2020 strategy. While social innovation has become a cornerstone of increased competitiveness and the rural situation legitimizes public intervention to encourage innovation, the challenges of its effective evaluation are compounded by the higher ‘failure’ rate implied by many traditional performance measures. Social Return on Investment (SROI) is employed to assess the social innovation outcomes arising from implementation of Axes 1 and 3 of the 2007-13 Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE). Analysis of primary data gathered through structured face-to-face interviews from a weighted sample of 196 beneficiaries reveal that social innovation outcomes generate a total of £170.02 million of benefits from Axis 1 support measures, compared to £238.1 million of benefits generated from innovation outcomes from Axis 3 measures. Benefits are generated through four social innovation outcome categories: individual, operational, relational, and system; and range from changes in attitudes and behaviour to institutional change and new ways of structuring social relations. The paper calls for more comprehensive evaluation approaches that can capture, and value, the multiple benefits arising from social innovation, and further bespoke applications of SROI to help develop and legitimise innovation indicators that will enable stronger linkages back into the policy process
Social farming (SF) has emerged as a social innovation practice shaping heterogeneous approaches and results. This study discusses the complexity of SF policy and practices, and it is led by the main hypothesis that the relationship between agricultural and social dimensions might be very heterogeneous, not only in different national contexts but also within the same national and local level. SF policy and practices are investigated testing the hypothesis of three main different modalities of interaction according to how the social and the agricultural perspectives interact. In the first, social target is not involved in the production system of the farm and the farm is the context where actions and measures of a social nature take place. In the second type of interaction, the farm employs the beneficiaries in some of its production activities collaborating with the social services. The third is where the farm organizes its activities to actively employ targeted people to enhance their social inclusion and integration in the community. Italian SF policy and practices are analyzed as case study, through the lens of sociological critical discourse analysis regarding the regional regulatory documents, and interviews for local case studies. The results of the study show that SF policy and practices might be very heterogeneous also within the same national and local level, outlining different hybridization of social and agriculture actions that can be properly analyzed through the three SF model proposal. This study contributes to the broader debate on the various dimensions of sustainability, suggesting the need for further research on the efficiency of SF as local development model sustainable in economic, social and environmental terms
The aim of the study was to provide the examples of eco-innovations in agriculture relating to the concept of sustainable development and the indication of their conditions. Quantitative and qualitative methods were applied to the research, namely: descriptive statistical and economic analysis of the Polish Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) data and Statistics Poland data, as well as case studies of organic food producers, covering the years 2005–2019. Indicated information sources, encompassing long time span of analysis and various data collections, allowed presenting the complementary picture of eco-innovations at the sector and farm levels. The research examined the different types of ecological innovations in Polish agriculture, including: (1) organisational innovations with an institutional background (e.g., the organic farming support and greening mechanism of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)—implemented in the family farming sector); and (2) the product, marketing, process and organisational innovations in selected organic farms that were individual farmers’ initiatives. On the one hand, the research documented the effectiveness of new agricultural policy solutions in the agricultural sector that are examples of organisational eco-innovations
The purpose of the article is to reveal the peculiarities of functioning of micro and small agribusinesses in Ukraine, to identify the negative factors influencing the result of such enterprises and to formulate directions for the development of small agribusiness. The methodological basis of the research is a systematic approach to the study of economic phenomena. Among the special methods, the abstract-logical method was used to highlight the peculiarities of functioning of small enterprises of Ukraine and to formulate conclusions and recommendations; economic-and-statistical, in identifying trends and patterns of development of micro and small enterprises; method of comparison, in the study of the dynamics of individual indicators and graphical, in the analysis and presentation of statistical data. Results. The problems of the current state and dynamics of development of micro and small agricultural enterprises are considered.
This paper contributes to the overall discussion on the relational resources then, in particular, attempts to recognize inter-firm investments in the agrifood industry. It is essentially grounded in an integrative approach which combines relational and resource-based views. Our goal in this paper is to find out if and how relational investment contributes to a sustainable relational advantage of business relationships in the agrifood industry. Producers, processors and traders who undertake investments in conjunction with their contractors were queried. The main areas of these investment activities and the potential of a sustainable relational advantage are explored. On this basis, a model of resource-based sustainable relational advantage in agrifood business relationships was executed. It was found that relational investments aimed at optimization of supply and provision as well as food safety and social responsibility create and sustain a relational advantage. Those aimed at technology and ecology implicate an unexploited relational advantage. Subsequent human, financial and real capital investments implicate a temporary relational advantage. The added value of this study lies in the implementation of an integrative approach to investigating the development potential of sustainable resource ties in the agrifood industry
One of the greatest challenges for rural area development in Europe is a high-tech increase. Thereby, the research problem lays upon digital agrarian hub development and financial support. The paper aims to provide evidence on rural business development under high technology boost. The study is performed through the trends of agrarian hubs development in Europe, including digitalization, innovative development, and communication financial support. The results section represents findings to determine innovative financial support models, considering European funds and regional financial initiatives potential, to strengthen digitalization in rural areas. In particular, the synergetic effect within all-European and regional financial support and rural development strategies will boost agrarian hub development and rural productivity increase
Organic farming can play an important role in rural development and food production, by reinforcing the trend toward sustainable agriculture and its purpose of ecosystem conservation. The agribusiness of organic farming is particularly relevant in family farming, given the labor availability and the short marketing circuits. The innovative techniques of organic farming, namely with soil fertility, weed and pest control, opens a wide range of possibilities in its development and extension. The expectation of organic farming profitability in small-scale family farming, supported by known successful examples, were the theme of a field study on Lis Valley Irrigation District to assess the constraints to its expansion in order to outline the procedures for the acquisition of technical knowledge, the adaptation of technologies, the support for the conversion of production models, and the specialized training of farmers for action. Results revealed that the: (i) farmer’s land structure, (ii) their mature age, (iii) low education level, and (iv) markets, are the main constrains for organic farming development. Furthermore, other uncertainties were identified, namely: (i) the certification process, (ii) the knowledge of new technologies, especially of crop protection, and (iii) the marketing problems to guaranteeing profitability. This study concludes that organic farming has significant potential for development in the Lis Valley and that the efforts and resources of the various stakeholders, namely the state, need to be harmonized to deliver effective support to farmers to promote organic farming that prioritizes: (i) rural development policies, (ii) supporting land restructuring, (iii) modernization of irrigation, (iv) stimulation of young farmers, (v) conversion and implementation of innovative technologies, (vi) the organization of farmers for better productive efficiency, and (vii) to facilitate market access
This thesis is situated in this field of inquiry and studies entrepreneurship in agriculture. It explores how we can further develop both agriculture and sustainable rural areas. Farmers have traditionally played a significant role in rural areas and rural development, and still do. However in pace with societal development and the reduced number of farms and farm production, their role has changed. Today, they are considered as raw material producers, being the first link in a food chain, and active in landscape conservation in the countryside. However, agriculture plays a significant role in rural development and in Sweden, authorities strive for development of sustainable rural areas by encouraging economic growth and innovation within and between companies (business models, value chains etc.).To meet the research purpose, Swedish agricultural entrepreneurship was studied from different perspectives and data was collected with different methods enabling significant triangulation of data. Studies of challenges in entrepreneurship and sustainable rural development were conducted from individual farmer and business perspectives as well as from the individual and organisational levels of actors within the support system, actors such as advisors, authorities, policy makers and officials. Thus, it was possible to explore perspectives on entrepreneurship in agriculture and identify mechanisms and structures affecting value creation for sustainable rural development. Mechanisms can be explained as underlying, invisible and sometimes unconscious and non-rational factors, feelings, norms, values or attitudes that affect behaviour in various ways
This study investigated the sustainability challenges and the adoption of sustainability innovations along the value chain of flowering potted plants supplying the German market. Data was collected through eighteen in-depths interviews with chain actors from different stages of the value chain and analyzed through qualitative content analysis. The material flow of the value chain begins at the breeding level followed by the propagation level. Cuttings are produced mostly in African countries, rooted cuttings and potted plants are cultivated in Europe. The main environmental challenges include water scarcity, pesticide use and carbon footprint. Social challenges in Africa include low wages and difficult working conditions. In Germany, social challenges include recruitment and retention of employees and product transparency. Economic challenges include profitability and the need to comply with standards. Sustainability driven innovations can address some sustainability challenges. However, their implementation often leads to increased costs, financial risk and complexity of implementation. Furthermore, the lack of product transparency prevents the transfer of sustainability costs to the consumer by offering a sustainable product for a premium price. Business-to-business standards have generally had a positive influence on the adoption of sustainability innovations. But by setting certification as an entry barrier for suppliers, retailers have become more powerful chain actors
The Agro-innovation Broker (AIB) concept was introduced by the European Commission solely to increase the vast spread of innovative solutions in Agriculture. The concept can be perceived as an intermediary between the demand and supply of agricultural research and extension services. This paper’s results are derived from the international research work that aims to develop a training curriculum in the field of agricultural innovation services with effective materials to boost capacity building actions in Central and Eastern European Countries (CEE). Based on consultations with stakeholders, the Hungarian situation analysis allowed comparison with other CEE countries and the expansion of an AIB vocational training curriculum. It helps to better understand the needs of agricultural innovation services through a clear view of advisors’ competences. Our results suggest that apart from the similar knowledge requirements and skills of AIBs across CEE countries, country-specific expectations and needs should be addressed in AIB training
Discussions on food security in the Global North have raised questions about the capacity of peri-urban organic agriculture to provide sufficient healthy food for the urban market. Dealing with food security requires more attention to how to protect peri-urban organic farming systems from urban pressures while strengthening the sustainability of local food systems. Given that short food supply chains (SFSCs) have been proven to be effective at reconnecting people with food production, this study focuses on identifying the barriers that hinder their development and the opportunities derived from the comparative advantage provided by their urban proximity. This study is based on documentary and empirical research addressing food supply chain characteristics in the organic sector. This study is focused on Mediterranean peri-urban agriculture, where, historically, there have been close relationships between the city and the countryside. These relationships are based on the fact that many cities are traditionally located next to areas of high agricultural activity, where a wide variety of vegetables is produced almost continuously due to the relatively mild winter climate. This study deals with two medium-sized metropolitan areas in Andalucía in the south of the Iberian Peninsula—the coastal city of Málaga, which is of a tourist-residential nature, and the inland urban agglomeration of Granada. Our research shows, when compared with other studies, that the local organic food sector seems to have great potential to find innovative solutions based on a collective approach, local embeddedness, and collective knowledge and by prioritizing horizontal and sustainable processes at the local/regional scale
The aim of this paper is to characterise the innovativeness of individual farms in the Łódź region. Based on a domestic and foreign literature study, the most frequently used variables connected with farms (namely, the type of agricultural activity, economic size and VAT settlement system) were selected. The analysis of selected variables that characterise the innovative activity of the researched entities was carried out using the basic measures of structural analysis and interdependence of phenomena. The analysis was based on the results of questionnaire interviews conducted among 150 individual farms from the Łódź region which keep accounting books under the Polish FADN
Innovations supporting a shift towards more sustainable food systems can be developed within the dominant food system regime or in alternative niches. No study has compared the challenges faced in each context. This paper, based on an analysis of 25 cases of European innovations that support crop diversification, explores the extent to which barriers to crop diversification can be related to the proximity of innovation settings with dominant food systems. Drawing on a qualitative analysis of interviews and participatory brainstorming, we highlight 46 different barriers to crop diversification across the cases, at different levels: production; downstream operations from farm to retailing, marketing and consumers; and contracts and coordination between actors. To characterise the diversity of innovation strategies at food system level, we introduce the concept of “food system innovation settings” combining: (i) the type of innovative practice promoted at farm level; (ii) the type of value chain supporting that innovation; and (iii) the type of agriculture involved (organic or conventional). Through a multiple correspondence analysis, we show different patterns of barriers to crop diversification according to three ideal-types of food system innovation settings: (i) “Changing from within”, where longer rotations are fostered on conventional farms involved in commodity supply chains; (ii) “Building outside”, where crop diversification integrates intercropping on organic farms involved in local supply chains; and (iii) “Playing horizontal”, where actors promote alternative crop diversification strategies—either strictly speaking horizontal at spatial level (e.g. strip cropping) or socially horizontal (arrangement between farmers)–without directly challenging the vertical organisation of dominant value chains. We recommend designing targeted research and policy actions according to the food systems they seek to develop. We then discuss further development of our approach to analyse barriers faced in intermediate and hybrid food system configurations
This study analysed Swedish stakeholders’ views on future developments of organic production and consumption based on Organic 3.0, a strategic initiative by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM). Focus group discussions were carried out with actors representing different parts of the organic value chain in Sweden. These identified a number of tensions, four of which represented an unresolved dichotomy in the way forward for the organic movement and its relevance for organic production in most settings. The first tension was between the drive for increased efficiency to achieve higher yields and an agroecological approach with broader sustainability values. The second concerned availability of plant nutrients in organic agriculture including safe recirculating of nutrients from society. The third tension set new technology against the precautionary principle and the notion of naturalness. The fourth concerned the role of organic as an innovation system; whether organic should be a forerunner, i.e. performing well above average and fostering innovation, or whether organic should be a broader movement including more farmers but then requiring more regulations that may hinder innovation. These tensions will result in important choices on direction for the organic sector as it pursues the Organic 3.0 goal of sustainably feeding a growing population based on farming systems based on organic principles
The concept of open innovation is currently one of the key issues regarding the innovative development of micro, small, and medium enterprises (SMEs). It has been the subject of research both in the theoretical and empirical context. At present, there is no unambiguous definition conceptualizing the conceptual scope of open innovation (OI). However, enterprises do not always decide by themselves to be open to the environment. Therefore, determinants are important, as they encourage enterprises to greater openness, which can be treated as a key element of a value chain for SMEs, contributing to their innovative development. Classification of these determinants (also named as factors) is very poor in the literature. Generally, internal and external determinants are identified. Authors decide on the selection of these factors and their division by themselves. The research presented in this article has indicated the existence of several significant regularities. Firstly, larger entities are more likely to use the OI concept. Secondly, market determinants are the most important for the use of OI among SMEs. Thirdly, both internal and external determinants have a huge impact on the application of the OI concept, with external determinants being more significant for smaller rather than larger entities. The conclusions drawn were a consequence of the assumed aim of the article: The assessment of the influence of determinants that affect the use of the OI concept among SMEs in Poland
Participatory agricultural extension programmes aimed at encouraging knowledge transfer and the adoption of new technology and innovation at the farm level are a novel approach to advisory service provision. In order to drive sustainable agricultural production systems that address farm-level economic and environmental objectives, the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) in November 2015, developed a new participatory extension programme for farmers in Northern Ireland, the Business Development Groups (BDGs). The purpose of this paper is to examine and analyse the drivers of farmers’ decisions in relation to joining and participating in this new approach to farm extension, learning and advisory service provision. Making use of data from both primary and secondary sources, this study employs a mixed-methods approach which involves an empirical analysis of quantitative and qualitative data to examine the factors influencing membership of the BDG programme. The results of our analyses show that larger, more intensive farmers who are keen to access information from other farmers to improve their business performance are most likely to participate in the BDG programme. The study contributes to the empirical literature by establishing the need to take into consideration the different characteristics of farmers in the design and delivery of participatory extension programmes
Grand societal challenges, such as global warming, can only be adequately dealt with through wide-ranging changes in technology, production and consumption, and ways of life, that is, through innovation. Furthermore, change will involve a variety of sectors or parts of the economy and society, and these change processes must be sufficiently consistent in order to achieve the desired results. This poses huge challenges for policy-making. This paper focus on implications for the governance of innovation policy, i.e., policies influencing a country’s innovation performance. Based on a systemic understanding of innovation and the factors shaping it, the paper highlights the need for effective coordination of policies influencing innovation and what changes in innovation policy governance this may require. To throw further light on how this may be realized, the paper discusses evidence on national innovation policy practice, from Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden, respectively, drawing on the country reviews of innovation policy conducted by the OECD as well as other sources. It is concluded that, for innovation policy to tackle societal challenges effectively, clearer goals and stronger and better coordination among the various actors—both public and private—whose actions matter for innovation performance will be required. Based on the experiences of the three countries, the paper particularly considers the role that comprehensive and inclusive innovation policy councils, with the prime minister in a central role, may play in such a process.
The innovation systems (IS) approach—developed by Richard Nelson, Christopher Freeman and Bengt-Ake Lundvall, amongst others—has become perhaps the dominant approach in the academic literature for the study of innovation. It has also exerted considerable influence on policy. This paper examines both the theory underpinning the IS approach, which bears considerable affinities with Austrian economics, and also its policy implications. It is argued that the work of Friedrich Hayek and Elinor Ostrom in particular can be used to draw attention to some potential difficulties with the way in which the IS approach is often used to guide policy. Ideas drawn from Austrian economics, as well as the work of Elinor Ostrom, are used to help develop and improve the IS approach, both theoretically and in terms of its approach to policy
Social media (SM) such as Twitter and Facebook are new communication tools for rural communities, and SM has enabled the creation of rural social networks. Increased use by farmers of 'mobile digital devices' and better rural access to broadband services have enhanced so that SM is being used to support farming decisions. However, in depth studies on how SM is used for knowledge sharing amongst farmers and the role of rural professionals (e.g. advisors) in this space is an emergent field with limited literature. There is a need to understand more about the roles SM play in farmer decision-making and agricultural innovation more broadly. Is farmer participation oriented to strategic, tactical or operational farm decision making? Little is known about differences in participation between farmers and rural professionals or about learning processes and knowledge creation in these virtual spaces. Does SM create spaces where participants engage on an equitable, trust forming and self-directed basis? What is the composition and global reach of these media networks? How rapidly and flexibly do they form, disband and reconfigure? To answer these questions, research methods used included 'Twitter Scraping software' and tools such as 'Twitonomy' to mine data off selected Twitter accounts and farmer forums. Also, online pasture based dairy farmer groups were examined in the Facebook study
Invasive species such as Ambrosia (an annual weed) pose a biosecurity risk whose management depends on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of many stakeholders. It can therefore be considered a complex policy and risk governance problem. Complex policy problems are characterised by high uncertainty, multiple dimensions, interactions across different spatial and policy levels, and the involvement of a multitude of actors and organisations. This paper provides a conceptual framework for analysing the multi-level and multi-actor dimensions of Ambrosia management. Potential and existing public, private and public–private management strategies are identified to address the interests and needs of different actor groups across different levels
In light of the discussion on ‘best-fit' in pluralistic advisory systems, this article aims to present and discuss challenges for advisory services in serving various types of farmers when they seek and acquire farm business advice.The empirical basis is data derived from four workshops, five interviews with staff from advisory organizations, and interviews with 11 farmers.Emerging configurations serve different types of farmers,that is, private advisors serve different clients in different ways; these could be considered subsystems within the overall advisory system. Best-fit configurations of advisory services exist within a country setting in response to farmers’ information demands and how they seek information, as well as public goals of the advisory system, and lead to advisory subsystems. Policy-makers should monitor the emergence of these subsystems and become active participants in some of them, in line with the concept of the public sector as regulator of private and commercial advisory systems
In this paper it is assessed the types of knowledge networks utilised by small-scale farmers in four case studies (located in Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom). We focus on knowledge acquired to inform three new activities being undertaken by study participants: agricultural production, subsidy access and regulatory compliance, and farm diversification (specifically agritourism). Findings demonstrate that the new knowledge networks are dominated by different forms of expertise: formal ‘agricultural advisors’ identified in the case studies primarily offer codified managerial knowledge through centralised networks, suggesting that state-funded services for small-scale farmers are largely embedded in traditional, linear models of knowledge transfer. Production and diversification knowledge is exchanged through ‘distributed’ and ‘decentralised’ networks, where a range of actors are involved across varying geographical distances
Agricultural machinery manufacturers historically referred to the intermediate players for selling, maintenance, customer service and/or training of equipment appear to interact with farmers and end-users. Intermediate players have therefore faced the burden to master the technology, in constant evolution, and the associated training needs at the interface between sophisticated equipment and the end-user and its sociological characteristics (age, education, background, etc.). However, the effective deployment of agricultural technologies data augmented equipment demands well-trained players. How to ensure that the intermediate players have the required skills to integrate the use of agtech on the farm? This paper will discuss the role of educational and ongoing vocational training for the mastery of agtech. The study starts from a comparative review of some key national and European technical reports in the agricultural equipment and innovation domains. On these bases, will be focused on France to describe the role of intermediate players of the agricultural equipment sector to realize their agricultural and digital transitions
This material was presented duting the conference: Big Data, a multiscale solution for a sustainable agriculture in Copenhagen Denmark in 2017 and brings an overview of the technological innovations of the French agricultural sector.
Despite typically beingregarded as ‘low-tech,’ the Food Manufacturing and Technology Sectoris increasingly turning to open innovation practices involving collaboration with universities in order to innovate. Given the broad range of activities undertaken by this sector and thefact that it utilises analytical, synthetic, and symbolic knowledge for innovation, it makes an interesting case study on the factors that influence the formation of University-Industry links. Using data from 249 collaborative projects that occurred between UK universities and food manufacturing and technology firms, the analysis utilises a logistic regression model based on a ‘synthetic counterfactual approach’ to modelling the probability a collaborative link will be established with one university and not others
The focus of this research is youth-led innovation, whereby young people instigate potential solutions to a problem, often one that they have identified or defined themselves, and take responsibility for developing and implementing a solution. This report analyses the research to date on youth-led innovation and identifies evidence of impact. It highlights that opportunities to participate in innovation increase young people’s likelihood to innovate in the future and what helps or hinders youth-led innovation. It is offered proposals for encouraging more young people to take part in youth-led innovation, which were developed with focus groups of young innovators and organisations that work with them. Alongside this research, the National Youth Agency and Changemakers have produced a NESTA guide for practitioners on youth-led innovation and illustrative case studies
In this paper the developments in agricultural research and education in the Netherlands will be presented in a historic context and the recent evolutions in agriculture-based research and knowledge systems are evaluated. It is concluded that societal needs, scientific discoveries, and public and private funding are the driving forces behind change. However, most important for the quality and vigour of knowledge centres is the ability to adapt to change
The European Union (EU) promotes collaboration across functions and borders in its funded innovation projects, which are seen as complex collaboration to co-create knowledge. This requires the engagement of multiple stakeholders throughout the duration of the project. To probe complexity in EU-funded innovation projects the research question is: How does complexity affect the co-creation of knowledge in innovation projects, according to project participants? The data for this study was collected from project experts in the form of short narratives, using a questionnaire based on the elements of complexity of Mitleton-Kelly (2003). The results indicate that complexity characterises the co-creation of knowledge in innovation projects in various ways. Most emphasis was put on the elements Self-organisation, Connectivity and interdependence, Co-evolution, and Creation of new order. Thus, although this study demonstrates that the elements of complexity can be used to gain insight into innovation projects, the results show that not all elements of complexity are equally important in this context and that they appear in a certain order
The question of how social enterprises foster social innovation in rural regions remains largely unexplored. In this paper, was developed the assumption that the embeddedness of social enterprises in rural communities and their ability to connect rural communities with supra-regional networks and decision makers are crucial preconditions for generating and fostering social innovation in the countryside. By applying the social network approach and a cross-case analysis of social enterprises in rural regions of Austria and Poland, I show how rural social enterprises mobilise ideas, resources and support from external sources not primarily for their own benefit but for that of their rural region. As embedded intermediaries, they contribute to transformational change and wellbeing, albeit they are only one of many forces that drive rural development
Despite the key role of actor networks in progressing new sustainable technologies, there is a shortage of conceptual knowledge on how policy can help strengthen collaborative practices in such networks. The objective of this paper is to analyze the roles of such policies – so-called network management – throughout the entire technological development processes. The analysis draws on the public management and sustainability transitions literatures, and discusses how various network characteristics could affect the development of sustainable technologies, including how different categories of network management strategies could be deployed to influence actor collaborations. The paper's main contribution is an analytical framework that addresses the changing roles of network management at the interface between various phases of the technological development process, illustrated with the empirical case of advanced biorefinery technology development in Sweden. Furthermore, the analysis also addresses some challenges that policy makers are likely to encounter when pursuing network management strategies, and identifies a number of negative consequences of ignoring such instruments in the innovation policy mix
While global demand for eggs is increasing, concerns are being raised about the environmental, economic and social impact of egg production. Efforts to address these sustainability concerns can, however, result in trade-offs. To enhance a transparent debate about future options and limitations in the egg sector, insight is needed in environmental, economic and social sustainability challenges as well as in potential trade-offs involved in addressing these challenges. Based on interviews with 24 stakeholders and supported by scientific literature, this paper presents an overview of current sustainability challenges and trade-offs in the Dutch egg sector. Moreover, the paper provides an overview of innovations suggested by stakeholders that can help to address the identified sustainability challenges, and describes current limitations for the implementation of these innovations
The objective of this piece of work is to explore innovation support in the case of Greece which is a particular one given the demise, on the one hand, of the country's public extension service in the early 1990's - and since then the absence of any kind of organized extension intervention in the country, and, on the other hand, of the agricultural cooperatives; thus the extremely weak and fragmented nature of the Greek Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System which seems to be rather unique in the European Union
There has been an increasing interest in science, technology and innovation policy studies in the topic of policy mixes. While earlier studies conceptualised policy mixes mainly in terms of combinations of instruments to support innovation, more recent literature extends the focus to how policy mixes can foster sustainability transitions. For this, broader policy mix conceptualisations have emerged which also include considerations of policy goals and policy strategies; policy mix characteristics such as consistency, coherence, credibility and comprehensiveness; as well as policy making and implementation processes. It is these broader conceptualisations of policy mixes which are the subject of the special issue introduced in this article. This paper aims at supporting the emergence of a new strand of interdisciplinary social science research on policy mixes which combines approaches, methods and insights from innovation and policy studies to further such broader policy mix research with a specific focus on fostering sustainability transitions. In this article we introduce this topic and present a bibliometric analysis of the literature on policy mixes in both fields as well as their emerging connections
How do systemic intermediaries obtain legitimate roles for themselves in innovation systems and transition processes? This is still an understudied question in the study of systemic intermediaries. This study started from the observation that roles, or positions, are not given, but emerge in interactions as a negotiated set of rights and obligations. Inspired by positioning theory, which has its roots in symbolic interactionism, this study analyses how positions are invoked in the actors’ various actions and statements (‘speech acts’) and how they draw from the mutually constructed narratives (‘storylines’) that enable and constrain the range of possible positions. We analyse, over time, the positioning of three Dutch systemic intermediaries in agriculture, energy production, and healthcare. Was concluded that systemic intermediaries move together with the promise of the field and, as a consequence, have to reposition themselves. In different phases, they both profit and suffer from the dilemma between initiating and sustaining innovative systemic changes
he European Union's long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation was published in January 2016 following a year-long process of development, which included targeted consultations. Based on five priority areas, the strategy guides the programming of its main research and innovation programme – Horizon 2020 – not only for 2018 to 2020 but also for the period beyond 2020, to be covered by Horizon Europe. In light of discussions on the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP), the role of innovation in agriculture is examined, including the potential contribution that research and innovation can make to agriculture, the agri-food sector, rural areas and the challenges they face. These are set against changing global trends in public expenditure on agricultural research and development. These trends point to a relatively flat pattern of expenditure over the years 2012 to 2016 for the EU. In global terms, the structure of public agricultural expenditure is changing, with historically richer countries ceding ground to those with rapidly rising per capita incomes. In considering the EU's long-term strategy for agricultural research and innovation, the links between the CAP and the EU's research and innovation policies are identified. Evaluation evidence from a range of sources on the actual or potential impact of investment in agricultural research and innovation point to a link between such investment and productivity growth in agriculture, the potential for multi-dimensional impacts, and the potential offered by the Commission's current approach to agricultural research and innovation through the European innovation partnership operational groups for agriculture (EIP-AGRI)
Smartphone technology is promising for the future development of agriculture, as it can facilitate and improve many operational procedures and can also be combined with precision agriculture technologies. Yet, existing research on smartphone adoption in agriculture is scarce. Therefore, this paper empirically explores the factors influencing smartphone adoption by German farmers. The relationship between farmers, farm characteristics and smartphone adoption was analysed using a binomial logit model. The dataset, collected in 2016, consists of 817 German farmers and is representative in terms of age, farm size and diversification as well as regional distribution across the study area
The purpose of the article is to study the scientific and applied principles of the development of commercialization of innovations in the agro-industrial sector in Ukraine as a direction of support of its leadership positions in the world market of agro-industrial products. As a result of theoretical generalization and comparison of the views of leading scientists, the author‘s approach to the determination of the essence of commercialization of innovations has been substantiated. By means of system analysis, the current situation of innovation activity in the agro-industrial sector and the current important tasks that are necessary to ensure the process of commercialization of innovations have been analyzed
In this paper is studied the case of Trentino, an Italian Alpine region where alternative food chains are quickly developing, by comparing the development of alternative markets in this context with other Italian peri-urban areas. The mountain environment makes it very difficult for farms to standardize their products according to the requirement of the large retailers. Through alternative food chains, the typicality of products and the savoir faire of the farmers – representing the two main factors of products’ added value – are endorsed and more easily communicated to the market. Data from a survey conducted on short food chain consumers show that they are inherently more careful to these particular cues of the products, as a result of a lifestyle that makes them more attached to identity and origins, as well as being more proud of their territory
The article assesses the influence of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on the pastoral farming systems in a National Park within the south west of England and more recent attempts to use innovative and participatory techniques to reconcile pastoral farming systems with wildlife management. The paper confirms evidence that the economic sustainability of farm businesses in the UK involved in pastoral farming is reducing, and that wildlife-orientated schemes are changing traditional farming systems in a way that might not be in the long-term interest of wildlife
Citizen science is the involvement of citizens, such as farmers, in the research process. Citizen science has become increasingly popular recently, supported by the proliferation of mobile communication technologies such as smartphones. However, citizen science methodologies have not yet been widely adopted in agricultural research. Here, was conducted an online survey with 57 British and French farmers in 2014. The study investigated farmer ownership and use of smartphone technologies, farmer use of farm-specific management apps, and farmer interest and willingness to participate in agricultural citizen science projects
This paper explores how innovation becomes an increasingly important topic in international relations, with a deep impact on collaboration as well as on competition between countries. It analyses how certain key patterns of techno-economic change lead to changes in the global distribution of innovative activities around the world and how this affects the institutions for global governance. It outlines three near-future scenarios of the international politics of innovation
Innovation policies are considered the long-term strategy to overcome the present systemic crisis. But this crisis is questioning such policies, their presuppositions and institutional arrangements. This questioning includes the Triple Helix theory and its impact on research and innovation policies. The goal is to examine how this theory can respond to theoretical and practical challenges, how the theory needs to evolve in order to fit the present context. The criticism focuses on growing worldwide standardization of research and innovation policies and their long-term impact on innovation. Restoring and increasing research diversity is urgent for sustained innovation. One solution is to add ‘society’ as a fourth helix. The problem is to clarify what ‘society’ stands for in this context. The paper studies three different institutional arrangements, France, Germany, and Japan, because these three cases can learn from each other and contribute to progress in the Helix theory itself. Potential reforms are summarized in some policy recommendations
A foresight hub within the Directorate General Research and Innovation (DG RTD) of the European Commission will support the decision-making procedures of the EU Horizon 2020 research, technology, and innovation programme. Foresight in particular is seen as an instrument defining research priorities for European society’s needs in support of the ‘grand societal challenges’.
The new initiative marks the recent success of the institutional and administrative application of foresight and derives from a long history of approaches to foresight taken by the European Commission. In fact, the Commission has been implementing measures to both internalise and externalise foresight during various periods since the 1970s. This paper outlines the various phases and approaches of foresight at the European Commission. It contextualises the new attempt of the foresight hub that is assumed to support the next European Commission’s research and innovation policies
This article examines the meaning, practices and potentials of ‘transformative agroecology learning’ as a collective strategy for food system transformation. Our study is based on our qualitative and action research with the European Coordination of Via Campesina to develop the European Agroecology Knowledge Exchange Network (EAKEN). This network is linked to the global network of La Via Campesina and builds on the strong experiences and traditions of popular education in Latin American peasant movements. Rather than focusing on agroecology education as a process of individual learning, we analyse how a transformative agroecology education can be strengthened as a critical repertoire of action used by social movements to advance food sovereignty
The Mesoamerican Agroenvironmental Program (MAP-Norway) is a multi-dimensional rural development program implemented in Central America since 2009, working with smallholder families, producer organizations, governmental organizations, and regional governance platforms. To monitor, assess, and evaluate the effects of the program on its beneficiaries, MAP-Norway uses a series of indicators that allow project managers and donors to adapt and follow-up on the interventions. Because gender is a cross-cutting theme in the program, gender indicators are used at all levels: families, producer organizations, and governmental organizations and governance platforms. In this document, it is used the experience of MAP-Norway to critically assess these indicators, considering their potential usability in the monitoring and evaluation of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) initiatives
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) development strategy in Chinese rural areas is an indispensable part of national development strategies. This paper reviews the ICT framework in agriculture and rural areas launched by the Department of Agriculture in China. It compares the rural ICT policies and strategies between China and the European Union (EU). The ICT development strategy framework is analyzed based on the situation in Chinese rural area and the experiences of the EU. Some lessons and suggestions are provided
This paper introduces a practical e-learning system, identified as Knowledge Exchange E-learning System (abbr. KEES), for knowledge distribution in rural areas. Particularly, this paper is about providing a virtual teaching and learning environment for small holders in agriculture in those rural areas. E-learning is increasingly influencing the agricultural education (information and knowledge learning) in all forms and the current e-learning in agricultural education appears in informal and formal methods in many developed countries and some developing areas such as Asian Pacific regions
For farmers, the transition towards agroecology implies redesigning both their production system and their commercialisation system. To engage in this type of transition, they need to develop new knowledge on practices adapted to local conditions, which will involve new actors in their network. This chapter explores the role of actors’ networks in the agroecological transition of farmers, with a particular focus on farming practices and modes of commercialisation. We held semi-structured interviews to understand: (i) individual farmers’ trajectories of change, considering practices at the farm and food system levels; (ii) the role of farmers’ networks in their involvement in the agroecological transition; and (iii) the role of their networks on a broader scale
Although many agronomic researchers currently focus on designing and developing decision support systems, they rarely discuss the methodological implications of such work. In this paper, with the examples of two decision support systems, we propose methodological elements for conducting the participatory design of such tools. The authors proposition aims at building dialogue between designers and users but also between humans, tools and work situations. The authors proposes two main stages: first, a diagnosis of the uses of decision tools within current working situations and, second, the use of a prototype of the tool under design
The research presented in this chapter used focus groups as the final tool in an extensive study of small-scale forest owners’ management practices, examining driving and hindering factors. This issue stems from dispersed and fragmented private ownership with many owners, 89% of whose properties are smaller than 5 ha and are divided into three plots on average. This has posed a considerable challenge to Slovenia’s forestry sector. Focus groups sought to obtain stakeholders’ reflections on findings from previous research as well as new insightsTherefore, this chapter shows how the focus group method was used in the final phase for studying the management of pocket-sized private forest properties as an efficient complement to other methods. Specifically, focus groups were used to obtain stakeholders’ reflections on findings from previous research stages as well as new insights
Participation is usually regarded as a good practice in environmental policymaking, but its effects on policy strategies are unclear. Based on literature research, surveys, and interviews with participants, the present paper assesses whether decisional participation in formulating Austria’s National Adaptation Strategy (NAS) was worth the effort. Assessed against the goals of the participation process, the authors found that it raised awareness for adaptation and facilitated an exchange among the participants and that it improved the content of the NAS. However, regarding the goal of enhancing the acceptance of and commitment to the NAS, we find that this has been achieved among those who participated but not among high-level policymakers who are responsible for implementing the NAS
This paper explores the potential of the multi-strata design used in edible forest gardens based on studies during the establishment of edible forest gardens (the first four years) in the agricultural settings of a group of participating farms in Sweden. The design and species composition of such gardens, the kind of food they may provide, and how they would best fit into the present landscape are discussed. The factors for success, major problems in the establishment, working requirements in relation to productive outcome and what the participants valued as the most important benefits from the gardens are shared. Finally, knowledge gaps in the development of the multi-strata approach in agriculture are identified
In this paper is presented a novel approach to elicit stakeholder visions of future desired land use, which was applied with a broad range of experts to develop cross-sectoral visions in Europe. The approach is based on (i) combination of software tools and facilitation techniques to stimulate engagement and creativity; (ii) methodical selection of stakeholders; (iii) use of land attributes to deconstruct the multifaceted sectoral visions into land-use changes that can be clustered into few cross-sectoral visions, and (iv) a rigorous iterative process. Three cross-sectoral visions of sustainable land use in Europe in 2040 emerged from applying the approach in participatory workshops involving experts in nature conservation, recreation, agriculture, forestry, settlements, energy, and water
The development of future food systems will depend on normative decisions taken at different levels by policymakers and stakeholders. Scenario modeling is an adequate tool for assessing the implications of such decisions, but for an enlightened debate, it is important to make explicit and transparent how such value-based decisions affect modeling results. In a participatory approach working with five NGOs, the authors developed a future food vision for the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) through an iterative process of defining the scenario, modeling, and revising the scenario, until a final future food vision was reached
This book presents feedback from the ‘Territorial Agroecological Transition in Action’- TATA-BOX research project, which was devoted to these specific issues. The multidisciplinary and multi-organisation research team steered a four-year action-research process in two territories of France.
This book presents:
i) the key dimensions to be considered when dealing with agroecological transition: diversity of agriculture models, management of uncertainties, polycentric governance, autonomies, and role of actors’ networks; ii) an operational and original participatory process and associated boundary tools to support local stakeholders in shifting from a shared diagnosis to a shared action plan for transition, and in so doing developing mutual understanding and involvement; iii) an analysis of the main effects of the methodology on research organisation and on stakeholders’ development and application; iv) critical analysis and foresights on the main outcomes of TATA-BOX, provided by external researchers
The purpose of the TATA-BOX project was to develop a toolbox to support local stakeholders in the design of an agroecological transition at local level. A participatory process based on existing conceptual and methodological frameworks was developed for the design of new configurations of stakeholders and resource systems in the farming systems, supply-chains and natural resources management that were to form a new agroecological territorial system. This process, presented here, was adapted and tested on two adjacent territories in south-western France. It was structured around three main stakeholders’ workshops to support the holistic diagnosis, the design of a normative vision, and the backcasting approach of the transition pathway.The authors describe the participatory methods and the multimodal intermediary tools used to support the collective design of the agroecological transition. It is also presented the main turnkey outcomes of the design process for local stakeholders, including shared diagnosis, vision for an agroecological territorial system in 2025, and a projected action plan for transition from the initial to the desired agriculture and associated governance structures. Finally, it is discussed the limits of the process and the conditions that would enable stakeholders to implement the transition, by reducing remaining uncertainties
To give more attention to the normative character of sustainable development, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality requested for a participatory approach to evaluate Dutch agriculture, which was characterized by stakeholder workshops, dialogue, and learning. This article describes and reflects on this approach, using the Fourth Generation Evaluation framework developed by Guba and Lincoln (Fourth generation evaluation, 1989). Although there are several improvements to be made, the evaluation approach was successful in the way that it gave insight into perceptions, visions, and ambitions of agricultural stakeholders with regard to sustainability.
Proven that the adoption rate of a new product is influenced by the network characteristics of the early adopters, the aim of this paper is to find the network features of the early adopters associated with high adoption rates of a specific new practice: the use of biodegradable mulching films containing soluble bio-based substances derived from municipal solid wastes. The study simulated the diffusion process by means of an agent-based model calibrated on real-world data. Closeness and clusterization emerged as the most important network characteristics for early adopters to be successful. The results achieved represent the basis for the breaking down of a tailored diffusion strategy to overcome the psychological and socio-economic barriers of this kind of innovation within an environmental and sustainability-oriented transition policy in a rural context
Understanding eco-innovation is an essential endeavor to achieve global sustainable development. In this sense, further research on implementation is needed to expand knowledge beyond current boundaries. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this debate by conducting an original multidimensional analysis using Spanish agri-food sector data. The empirical methodology applies a combination of descriptive statistics, cluster analysis and the chi-squared test. Two groups of well-differentiated eco-innovative firms are identified, those with high and low eco-innovation implementation levels. Quality certifications, environmental consulting and cooperation with stakeholders are the variables that contribute most to distinguishing these two groups
Companies’ environmental responsibility has significantly increased in the last decade. However, the question about the benefits that this responsible decision has on the company’s performance in the market remains. In this scenario, the main goal of this study is to analyze the conditions that improve the performance of companies in the agri-food industry, paying specific attention to technological eco-innovation and different types of cooperation (in the use and in the development of eco-innovations). The initial sample contains data of agri-food companies operating in Spain. The Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) has been used as a new path for the analysis of firm’s data. Company performance has been considered by using a construct including three variables (increase in the sales, company profitability and cost reduction). Results show that the conditions that largely benefit company performance are R&D spending and the development of technological eco-innovation. Cooperation in the development and use of eco-innovations are especially important for the smaller companies, with the larger companies in the sector relying both in cooperation and in their own resources
Grassroots initiatives for sustainable development are blossoming, offering localised alternatives for a range of societal functions including food and energy. Research into grassroots organisations often recognises the difficulties grassroots groups face to continue operations. However, there is a need for better understanding dynamics that enable or constrain grassroots organisational survival. Here, we specifically shed light on how such survival is dependent on the organisation’s ability to construct legitimacy. In the context of community supported agriculture (CSA), this study explores different legitimacy types and strategies
Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have become a popular tool for governing rural development in a European context. PPPs are often presented as significant solutions for increasing both the effectiveness (problem-solving capacity) and the legitimacy of sustainable rural governance in terms of participation and accountability. In Sweden, where PPPs have played a marginal role, due to the EU cohesion policy they are now gaining ground as a model for the governance and management of natural resources in rural areas. Previous research shows that the state remains crucial in governing the process of governance through partnerships, especially in a rural as opposed to an urban context, where the state plays an ongoing role in initiating, structuring, financing and regulating partnerships. Is this an example of the state trying to counterbalance the increased power of the private sector, or the opposite – that is, an attempt to reduce social exclusion and increase participation by promoting the interest of private actors in local development processes? This study examines the critical role of the state in these partnerships. It focus on authorities in charge of natural resource management and rural development and assess the enabling role of the authorities in rural areas with a weak or dispersed private sector. Empirical data is collected via group interviews at a workshop in which key representatives from the authorities participated
During the last two decades there is a growing awareness of the importance of introducing organic agricultural production in Serbia due to issues of health, environmental protection and need for more sustainable agriculture. There is a need for education of small farmers on the possibilities of organic production and significance of information technologies for education, production and marketing. This paper aims to examine the perception on the possibilities of organic production and ICT use concerning their level of education. The study has included 143 farmers from Raška district, municipality Kraljevo. The statistical ANOVA analysis has been done by using the software package SPSS18 to explore an impact the education has on the perception of small farmers on the use of information technologies in education, production, and marketing of agricultural products. The results show statistically significant difference in the perception of small farmers on the usage of information technologies regarding their level of education
In Europe, research and extension services (RES) play a relevant role in the agricultural sector. A Structural Equation Model has evaluated the impact of RES on perceived farm performance in a sample of 247 holdings. The authors interest is not only on the perceived benefits for small-scale holdings which request technical advice but also on the intermediate role of Strategic Orientations (SO), including market orientation and innovation attitude, that could improve the effectiveness of RES. The key findings support that SO is a dynamic and determinant organizational factor that RES can stimulate, and involve a positive effect on farms’ perceived performance
Agricultural organizations are faced with continuous processes of change: economic openness, national and international competition between companies, adaptation to new business management models-Corporate Social Responsibility-, changing markets and the need to comply with regulations and certifications. This has led to the generation of a great demand for knowledge, preparation and motivation of the people who work in the organizations and in the agribusiness environment. Organizations are obliged to seek strategies or business techniques that allow them to guarantee survival and increase their levels of competitiveness. Among these techniques the coaching technique is highly positioned. The objective of the research was to analyze the use of coaching in the agricultural value chain as a tool to contribute to rural development. The study analyzed 50 coaching companies in Spain, from which qualitative and quantitative data of agricultural and rural coaching were taken. Moreover, a sample of 22 coached agribusinesses in Spain was characterized in order to obtain a profile of the coaching in the agricultural value chain. Frequency, contingency and significance analysis were used to characterize the performance of coaching in the agricultural value chain
The transition to a market for agricultural research and knowledge-intensive services presents various challenges for actors in the agricultural knowledge infrastructure, on both the demand side (end users of innovations such as farmers, and the government) and the supply side (providers of research and knowledge-intensive services). New organizational arrangements try to bring together supply and demand in the agricultural knowledge infrastructure. This thesis is about such new organizational arrangements
In this paper the authors used a network perspective to study the micro level of agricultural innovation systems and investigate the different roles and functions that collaborating actors have to perform to spread their innovation both horizontally and vertically. Based on a literature review, we distinguish between three separate network functions: (1) learning and knowledge co-creation, (2) upscaling and institutional entrepreneurship and (3) outscaling and innovation brokerage. We investigate how these different functions have been performed in the case of the Northern Frisian Woodlands (NFWs) in the Netherlands over a period of 17 years. We have constructed the two-mode affiliation networks of the actors involved in various multidisciplinary research projects and lobbying events. We have analysed these networks using Social Network Analysis and measured the participation rates, relative degrees and the main paths through time with the Search Path Node Pairs algorithm. The results show that the three functions are not evenly distributed over all participants in an innovation network. For each of these three functions there is a small group of people that form a core group of knowledge creators, institutional entrepreneurs and innovation brokers. The analysis of the main paths through these projects and events shows the close interaction between the lobbying and knowledge co-creation functions. The ability to perform more than one innovation function over a longer period of time is extremely rare, but those people who can pull this off are very important for the success of an innovation network. This paper therefore concludes that the organisers of innovation networks should take try to organise their collaboration in such a way that it becomes easier for individuals to perform multiple roles within an innovation network
Innovations are considered as a key driver for economic growth and increased competitiveness. Investments in agricultural research and development could generate not only economic and social effects but also environmental benefits. The study aims to analyse of agricultural innovation system in Bulgaria and the linkages with agricultural R&D to formulate conclusions and recommendation for future development. The paper presents some of the theoretical concepts of innovation systems and the role of R&D in the process. Comparative, historical and monographic methods of analysis are applied. The results indicate the low share of R&D expenditures in the national GPD. The share of agricultural R&D expenditure is declining and Bulgaria is lagging behind the EU-28 average level. Despite the high potential of Bulgarian agricultural innovation system, it is characterized by unclear priorities and lack of coordination. Several challenges should be addressed: improvement of public funding, human resources capacity building and cooperation between research and business are some of the main priorities for agricultural innovation system development and transformation
Communities of Practice (CoPs) are a promising concept for transdisciplinary knowledge co-creation in sustainable agricultural development, but empirical evidence from the farmers’ viewpoint is scarce. This paper contributes to empirical insights on the knowledge creation in CoPs as valued by farmers. Using concepts from CoP theory (domain, community, and practice) and the value creation framework (VCF) developed by Wenger et al. (Promoting and assessing value creation in communities and networks: a conceptual framework. Netherlands Ruud de Moor Center Rapport 18:60, 2011), the authors examined two cases issuing from a European project on sustainable dairy farming. Results indicate regional differences between the two cases and relate CoP features to value creation cycles (immediate, potential, applied, realized and reframing value)
According to transition science, system innovation requires experimentation and social learning to explore the potential of innovations for sustainable development. However, the transition science literature does not elaborate much on the learning processes involved. Senge's Field of Change provides a more detailed approach to the role of learning and action in innovation. We linked the Field of Change to transition management literature in order to explore social learning in an agricultural innovation experiment in the Netherlands called the ‘New Mixed Farm’. Our findings show that the project partners focussed primarily on the level of action and did not learn about (the values prevalent in) their environment. Our analysis suggests that social learning about a project's environment should be organised specifically to avert the risk of a project ignoring its environment. Furthermore, the relevance of social learning in relation to societal context is shown: an innovation experiment that does not or cannot learn about its environment is unable to respond to mounting societal pressures and therefore prone to failure. Finally, the results show that the Field of Change can be related to transition theory in order to provide a more detailed approach to learning in system innovation
The aim of the paper is to analyze the possibilities to improve the market capability of small farms in Latvia. Therefore the paper deals with the factors constraining development plans of small farm holders, the current possibilities for improving small farm market capability, the possible development strategies to choose, and proposals for the improvement of small farm market capability in Latvia. The most significant barriers to implement the development plans for Latvian small farms are the lack of the production assets and also the difficulties to attract funding for long-term investments and current assets, as well as poor market infrastructure. The existing support measures have had a positive impact on the structural changes in Latvian agriculture; however, these measures have not been sufficient to solve the problems of the market capability of small farms and to contribute to their economic growth sufficiently. In order to improve the market capability of small farms of Latvia, programmatic approach is proposed consisting of four components: 1) training, 2) development of a business plan, 3) evaluation of a business plan, and 4) implementation of the business idea. Different instruments for the implementation of business ideas are attractable depending on whether the owner has selected the implementation of full-time agricultural strategies, part-time agricultural strategies or business diversification strategies
This paper estimates the farm level impact of producer organizations’ (PO) membership in Slovakia and the effectiveness of support provided to POs under the EU Rural Development Programme (RDP). The study employ the Propensity Score Matching and Difference in Differences econometric approach on a database of large Slovak commercial farms for 2006 and 2015. First, our results show that belonging to a PO improves the economic performance of farms in Slovakia. Second, in the short-run the support granted under RDP 2007–2013 to newly established PO does not improve the farm performance; only established and older POs (and potentially supported in the past) generate benefits to their members. Third, the estimates provide indirect evidence that the disbursement of PO support granted in the financial period 2007–2013 was rather ineffective in selecting POs with the highest potential to generate benefits to its members. Our analysis confirms that many POs were created for the sole purpose just to benefit from the support
This data article contains annotation data characterizing Multi Criteria Assessment (MCA) Methods proposed in the agri-food sector by researchers from INRA, Europe's largest agricultural research institute (INRA, http://institut.inra.fr/en). MCA can be used to assess and compare agricultural and food systems, and support multi-actor decision making and design of innovative systems for crop production, animal production and processing of agricultural products. These data are stored in a public repository managed by INRA (https://data.inra.fr/; https://doi.org/10.15454/WB51LL).
The economic globalisation has opened new pathways for commerce and triggered a logistical revolution, which in turn has produced enormous technological innovations. In this context, the role of startups is becoming increasingly crucial since they are positioning themselves as innovation enablers among large and small companies. Between these innovations, IoT, Big Data Analytics and Blockchain can be used in various domains, among which the logistics of the whole wine supply chain. In this paper the authors will consider some of the issues and needs that arise in this market sector, showing how Wenda – a startup born in Bologna in February 2015 that works to improve sustainability and traceability in Food & Beverage supply chains – has been able to leverage IoT, Big Data Analytics and Blockchain to empower the wine supply chain with solutions that enable wine traceability throughout the distribution and the after-buying-in preservation and commercialisation phases
The impulse towards a larger introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the agricultural field is currently experiencing its momentum, as digitisation has large potentialities to provide benefits for both producers and consumers; on the other hand, pushing technological solutions into a rural context encounters several challenges. In this work, the authors provide a survey of the most recent research activities, in the form of both research projects and scientific literature, with the objective of showing the already achieved results, the current investigations, and the still open challenges, both technical and non technical. The paper mainly focus on the EU territory, identifying threats and concerns, and then looking at existing and upcoming solutions to overcome those barriers
The study proposes a knowledge-intensive and qualitative research methodology based on researcher-farmer participatory approach, with the aim to improve the state of knowledge on organic rice, explore the yield potential and variability, and identify the successful agronomic practices. A wide range of cropping systems placed in North Italy were monitored and analysed during three years by a multi-actor network. Knowledge was generated from collected data and information, integrating the scientific and empirical knowledge on the basis of the DIKW hierarchy and through mutual learning and knowledge sharing tools. The organic rice field proved to be a complex and difficult to predict system, which evolves over the time, under the on-going pressure of the bottom-up innovations, and whose performance depends on many interacting elements.
The EU rural development policy has addressed challenges related to climate change in agriculture by introducing public voluntary schemes, which financially support the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices. Several factors, most of which are non-financial ones, drive adoption and continuation of these schemes by farmers. Despite the importance of these factors, only a few studies explore their role in the European context. This paper contributes to filling this gap from a twofold perspective. First, it investigates the role of the farming factors, technology accessibility, environmental features, policy design and social expertise at the territorial level on early adoption. Second, it sheds light on farmers' attitudes and motivations and on social pressure on their decision to continue or discontinue the practices, by surveying a sample of early adopters
In sustainability research, transdisciplinary (TD) approaches that involve practitioners in the research process have emerged as promising tools for enhancing real-world knowledge and engendering societal change. However, empirical insights into how such participation can contribute to the societal effects of TD research are scant and largely rely on single case studies, neglecting practitioners’ perceptions. In this article, the authors empirically investigate the perceptions of both researchers and practitioners on how practitioners’ participation in TD research might instigate societal changes. By elucidating both researchers’ and practitioners’ perceptions of participation-effect pathways, this article contributes empirical insights to an emerging scholarship on theories of change in sustainability research and provides ideas on how to better include systems thinking into TD research and future studies of societal effects.
In this study the farmers were first asked to answer two sets of statements related to views on climate change and experiences on changes so far in their own farm or nearby locations. With additional questions and statements in the survey we assessed farmers’ views and intentions to change farming practices that could sustain adaptation to climate change, improve resilience to climate change and variability, have an impact on nutrient leaching and biodiversity and in general sustain long-term sustainability of crop production systems.This work assessed farmers’ views and intentions to change farming practices that could sustain adaptation to climate change, improve resilience to climate change and variability, have an impact on nutrient leaching and biodiversity and in general sustain long-term sustainability of crop production systems. Furthermore, aimed to identify any possible mismatches between farmers’ views and their intention to act to enable the characterization of hotspots for future knowledge sharing and for the development of policies to encourage efficient changes in crop production systems.
This paper investigates the effect of Plant Variety Protection (PVP) regulation on the governance of agri-food value chains (AFVC) with a small-scale survey of kiwi producers in Italy. We found that AFVC trading-protected (club) plant varieties are more likely to exhibit captive governance forms than those trading the free varieties. Nevertheless, the producers of club kiwis achieve higher returns from their investments and bear less risk than others. Because of the high demand for the club fruits, the breeders must give farmers highly profitable contract terms in order to elicit the production and to promote the adoption of the new cultivar. As a consequence, farmers are capturing a share of the value of innovation, even if the breeders have a strong protection. The long-run sustainability of this win-win agreement between breeders and farmers might be jeopardized should the demand for the new varieties fall
Sustainability is becoming a pivotal guide for driving the governance strategies of value chains. Sustainable policy should have as its objective the perpetuation of production models over time to maintain its environmental, economic and social dimensions. Therefore, measuring the sustainability of a production system is fundamental to deepening the understanding of ongoing trends, considering the pressure exerted by agricultural policies, market dynamics and innovations introduced in the production system. The purpose of this paper is to present a holistic framework for assessing the sustainability of food quality schemes (FQS), including the role of both stakeholders within the value chain, and the territorial dimension. This paper discusses the use of dimensional indicators and proposes synthetic indexes to provide an overall picture of the evolution of sustainability of a specific production system. Particularly, the evolution of sustainability in the Parmigiano Reggiano Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) production system is evaluated over the period 2000-2018. It is assumed that its evolution is due to the effect of 20 years of innovations which have impacted on product quality, value chain performance and rural development, modifying the sustainability of the whole production system
Innovative approaches are needed to shift towards more sustainable, equitable and healthy agri-food systems. Building on the increasing recognition of the relevance of traditional agroecological knowledge (TAeK) in sustainable food systems, this paper aims to describe innovative agri-food initiatives and explore how the use and valorization of TAeK may transform conventional agri-food systems. It employs a case-study approach in Spain, where we conducted semi-structured interviews with 12 representatives of alternative agri-food initiatives. Was founded that, to promote sustainable agri-food systems, TAeK has to span from farm-to-fork. Innovative agroecological practices and knowledge help to safeguard biocultural diversity, while gastronomic knowledge among consumers on how to process and prepare local varieties and species is crucial for the implementation of shorter value chains. This study discuss how TAeK enhances the success of conventional systems of innovation, challenging dominant epistemological frameworks. By scaling deep (changing values), scaling out (dissemination, reproduction) and scaling up (changing institutions), the agri-food initiatives may act on leverage points to enable broader transformation of the Spanish agri-food system
The sustainability of food value chains is an increasing concern for consumers, food companies and policy-makers. Global food chains are often perceived to be less sustainable than local food chains. Yet, thorough food chain analyses and comparisons of different food chains across sustainability dimensions are rare. In this article it is analyzed the local Belgian and global Peruvian asparagus value chains and explore their sustainability performance. A range of indicators linked to environmental, economic and social impacts is calculated to analyze the contribution of the supply chains to economic development, resource use, labor relations, distribution of added value and governance issues
Participatory plant breeding (PPB) is based on the decentralization of selection in farmers’ fields and their involvement in decision-making at all steps of the breeding scheme. Despite the evidence of its benefits to develop population varieties adapted to diversified and local practices and conditions, such as organic farming, PPB is still not widely used. There is a need to share more broadly how the different programs have overcome scientific, practical, and organizational issues and produced a large number of positive outcomes. Here, is reported on a PPB program that started on bread wheat in France in 2006 and has achieved a range of outcomes, from the emergence of new organization among actors, to specific experimental designs and statistical methods developed, and to populations varieties developed and cultivated by farmers. In this paper is presented the results of a two-year agronomic evaluation of the first population varieties developed within this PPB program compared to two commercial varieties currently grown in organic agriculture
European agriculture is facing increasing economic, environmental, institutional, and social challenges, from changes in demographic trends to the effects of climate change. In this context of high instability, the agricultural sector in Europe needs to improve its resilience and sustainability. Local assessments and strategies at the farming system level are needed, and this paper focuses on a hazelnut farming system in central Italy. For the assessment, a participatory approach was used, based on a stakeholder workshop. The results depicted a system with a strong economic and productive role, but which seems to overlook natural resources. This would suggest a relatively low environmental sustainability of the system, although the actual environmental impact of hazelnut farming is controversial. In terms of resilience, we assessed it by looking at the perceived level of three capacities: robustness, adaptability, and transformability. The results portrayed a highly robust system, but with relatively lower adaptability and transformability. Taking the farming system as the focal level was important to consider the role of different actors. While mechanisation has played a central role in enhancing past and present system resilience, future improvements can be achieved through collective strategies and system diversification, and by strengthening the local hazelnut value chain
This paper considers how farmers engage with, utilise and share knowledge through a focus on the Catchment Sensitive Farming (CSF) initiative in the UK. In exploring the importance of social contexts and social relations to these practices, the paper brings together understandings of knowledge with those from the literature on good farming to consider how different knowledges gain credibility, salience and legitimacy in different contexts. Drawing on qualitative semi-structured interviews with farmers in a ‘priority catchment’ in the North of England, the paper notes a general receptiveness to the knowledge offered by CSF advisors, but highlights the importance of specific contexts and personal relationships within this process and how farmers may hold different knowledge practices in relation to different parts of their farm
The shift to industrial agriculture in Europe brought along a range of environmental and social externalities. This led policy makers, researchers and civil servants to consider and explore the potential of diversified farming systems (DFS) to address current problems in agriculture. However, because of multiple obstacles adoption of these DFS by farmers is not obvious. In this study we investigate the case of agroforestry (AF) systems in Flanders, where a government incentive scheme initiated in 2011, did not lead to the expected uptake of AF systems by farmers. To understand this implementation gap and the role of the different relevant actors herein, we used the Agricultural Innovation System concept ensuring an integrative and holistic analysis. Through 25 interviews, 2 focus groups and document analysis, a set of qualitative data was gathered and analyzed. This revealed five sets of challenges, which are of a technical, financial, legal, organizational and social nature. For each of these challenges development pathways were formulated to further upscale AF adoption. Although they should be substantiated and fine-tuned through further research, they put forward the importance of (1) investing in research to improve the compatibility and labor productivity of AF systems, (2) engaging private and societal actors in niche markets for agroecological products, (3) developing a full-fledged legal landscape and an effective incentive program, (4) using different communication and education channels to familiarize actors with agroecological practices, and (5) strengthening the dialogue between influential groups
Swedish agricultural companies, especially small farms, are struggling to be profitable in difficult economic times. It is a challenge for Swedish farmers to compete with imported products on prices. The agricultural industry, however, supports the view that through business model innovation, farms can increase their competitive advantage. This paper identifies and describes some of the barriers Swedish small farms encounter when they consider business model innovation. A qualitative approach is used in the study. Agriculture business consultants were interviewed. In a focus group led by the researchers, farmers discussed business model innovation, including the exogenous and endogenous barriers to such innovation. The paper concludes many barriers exist when farmers consider innovation of agricultural business models. Some barriers are caused by human factors, such as individuals’ attitudes, histories, and traditions. Other barriers are more contextual in nature and relate to a particular industry or company setting. Still other barriers, such as government regulations, value chain position, and weather, are more abstract. All barriers, however, merit attention when Swedish agricultural companies develop new business models
The innovation of agricultural systems management is a determinant factor that guarantees adaptation to a new paradigm of global economy, environmental protection, and social requirements. The conventional concepts of innovation, applicable to new products and processes, do not consider many characteristics of the agricultural sector, such as social innovation and innovation resulting from new or renewed processes. Nevertheless, the overall impact of innovation on yields, competitiveness, and value can be hampered by the limited understanding or misinterpretation of Agriculture Innovation paradigms. For instance, the Rural Development Program (RDP) applies a restrict concept of innovation, being unable to embrace the full range of activities intended to implement new practices within the framework of the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS). Stimulating innovation in agriculture demands a change in policy innovation of RDP in order to preserve natural resources and combine agricultural priorities and the rural environment with the concepts of innovation. This paper focuses on the different views of the concept of innovation within the Program of Operational Groups (OGs) of the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI), analyzing the Portuguese case study of the Lis Valley Irrigation District whose main innovation objective was to achieve and implement new processes of water management aiming at the conservation of natural resources as well as sustainable social and economic agricultural development. The Portuguese experience highlights why the application of innovation in agriculture may not reach the desirable outcomes
To meet global demands towards food security, safety as well as sustainable agriculture and food systems innovative approaches are inevitable. Despite the growing body of literature in both innovation research and in values and aims, what has been explored to a lesser extent is the bridging link between these areas. This study represents a first step in addressing this relationship. Policy- and decision-makers foster sustainable innovation in agriculture, since on-farm innovation and innovation adoption have attracted their attention as a means of enhancing competitiveness as well as socially and environmentally benign farming also benefiting rural areas. By using a negative binomial model we explore the relationship between farmers’ innovativeness and those values and aims which guide farmers’ farm-management decisions as well as other farm/farmer characteristics. Based on a sample of 174 Austrian farmers agricultural education is found to be an essential driver of innovativeness. Regarding the different values we find that self-direction and hedonistic values, in contrast to achievement and economic, are associated with more innovative capabilities. In conclusion, we see a need to foster self-direction and hedonistic narratives in policy and extension service, together with reducing the focus on an economic angle to promote farmers’ innovation capabilities
Industrial agriculture and its requirement for standardized approaches is driving the world towards a global food system, shrinking the role of farmers and shifting decision-making power. On the contrary, a holistic perspective towards a new food-system design could meet the needs of a larger share of stakeholders. Long-term experiments are crucial in this transition, being the hub of knowledge and the workshop of ‘participation in’ and ‘appropriation of’ the research in agriculture over a long term. This study presents a methodology applied during the creation of a small network of organic farmers in Italy and detail the steps of the co-innovation process implemented. After a context analysis of the area to define the type of research and degree of participation, three steps were performed: (1) Identification of stakeholders; (2) dialogic identification of common activities; and (3) validation and feedback from participants. In the first participatory step, five organic farms were engaged for the second and third steps. We organized meetings to discuss future plans, facilitating the interaction process between farmers and researchers. These activities led to: (i) the definition of a research protocol based on farmers’ research needs for a new long-term experiment; (ii) committing farmers to take an active role in the research; and (iii) hosting experimental satellite trials in their own farms
While a number of works question the alterity of alternative food chains, little has been said about the social processes under which new economic models are, or may be, developed within the broader movement around ‘short food supply chains’ (SFCs) in Europe. Considering SFCs as economic organisations, we propose an analytical framework based on New Economic Sociology and Convention Theory, enriched by Social and Solidarity Economics, to capture the social construction of new economic models in such chains. It is applied this framework to two case studies: an open-air market promoting short food supply chains in France, and a partnership between an agricultural cooperative and several solidarity purchase groups (GAS) in Italy. Analysing the trajectories of the two initiatives, we highlight the processes through which new economic models are jointly built via interactions between different actors. The results open two lines of discussion: one concerning the ‘new economic models' that emerge from the two cases, a second regarding the actors' participation in elaborating and enacting these new models
This article analyzes the politics of localizing food systems at play in the FPCs of Ghent (Belgium) and Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, USA). The focus is on the development of urban agriculture in both cities, and includes an analysis of the politics of scale through three scalar practices of scale framing, scale negotiating, and scale matching. This analysis reveals that differences in the way in which the politics of scale are played out in both FPCs resulted in the creation of different opportunities and constraints for urban agriculture development
This article therefore analyses whether agricultural advisors representing companies that do not sell pesticides (independent advisors) are more likely to recommend reduced pesticide use than agricultural advisors who represent companies with an economic interest in selling pesticides (supplier-affiliated advisors). However, we would not necessarily expect a crude relationship between economic incentive and higher pesticide recommendations. After all, advisors have to justify their recommendations to their customers, the farmers. It is possible that farmers who contract with supplier-affiliated advisors also demand different types of advice or that advisors within these companies construe pesticide problems differently from independent advisors. We therefore also examine the effect of potential intervening variables such as advisors' perceptions of farmer demand for different types of advice, advisors’ weightings of different purposes connected to pesticide use, and their perceptions of the environmental risk of using pesticides
Sustainable entrepreneurs are key actors in sustainability transitions; they develop needed innovations, create markets, and pressure incumbents. While socio-technical transitions literature is well developed, questions remain in terms of (1) the different roles that sustainable entrepreneurs can play in sustainable transitions, and (2) how best to empower these roles. To explore these challenges, we review literature and construct a framework combining the multilevel perspective and entrepreneurial ecosystem perspective. The authors applied this framework to the context of climate-smart agriculture in (Western and Central) Europe. By analysing semi-structured interview data (n = 27) we find that sustainable entrepreneurs are constrained by ineffective policy, resistant users, as well as novel alignment issues within the supply chain. This paper focus on the role of sustainable entrepreneurs as coordinators of action rather than developers of technological innovation within transition contexts characterised by low landscape pressures, large unmotivated incumbent firms, low consumer awareness and demand, and unincentivized users (farmers)
This paper presents the results of an exploratory case-study analysis of a corn stover value-chain development process in two regions: Ontario (Canada) and Flanders (Belgium). Applying an integrated analytical framework and comparing the results with literature, we identified a number of barriers for novel value-chain development and state seven concrete actions that value-chain actors can take to overcome these barriers. These recommendations can be used by policy makers wishing to facilitate the development of novel biomass value chains in their region; by farmers and industrial actors working to establish new avenues to valorize currently underutilized biomass sources and create additional revenues; and by researchers seeking to disseminate and implement their knowledge about novel technologies as well as socio-economic insights
Using a mixed methods approach, this study gathered the views of farmers, farm advisors, and industry representatives about integrated farm management in England and Wales, and interpreted these through a theoretical framework to judge the strength of the concept. Overall, the general principles of Integrated Farm Management were found to be coherent and familiar to most of our respondents. However, the concept performed poorly in terms of its resonance, simplicity of message, differentiation from other similar terms and theoretical utility. The reflect on the research findings in the context of other ways to promote sustainable agriculture, drawing out messages for policy and knowledge exchange in England and Wales, as well as elsewhere
The paper is structured as follows. First, definitions and conceptualisations of trust are considered, before moving on review the literature on trust in rural network models of business support. Next, the empirical study design is described, which consisted of case studies of business advice programmes offered to artisanal food enterprises in Northern Ireland and displaying varying degrees of trust. The results of the empirical study are reported and then discussed, with reflections on how trust evolved in each case, and the ways in which trust was lost
This article combines innovation intermediary and technological innovation systems literature to develop fundamentals of an approach for analysing how organisations acting as intermediaries support firms in eco-innovation and potentially contribute to technological innovation system functions. The operationalisation of the analytical approach is illustrated using case studies on a total of eight support organisations acting as intermediaries in the region of Scania, Sweden and North Rhine Westphalia, Germany. For researchers and policy analysts, the analytical approach presented in this article offers the opportunity for a step-by-step, comprehensive and transparent analysis of different types of intermediaries, their roles, and potential contributions to innovation system functions
This study aims at contributing to a better understanding of the linkage between supply chain performance and possible performance improvement with respect to food quality and safety. Therefore, the paper addresses the question whether the level of collaborative planning and close supply chain relationships could help improve quality and safety of organic supply chains. The study was conducted as a part of the multi-disciplinary EU-wide survey of organic supply chains, carried out in 8 European countries. In this paper we report the results of the study regarding the structures and performance of six different organic supply chains in these eight European countries: milk (CH, UK), apples (DE, CH), pork (UK, NL), eggs (DE, UK), wheat (HU, IT, FR) and tomatoes (IT, NL). In depth interviews with key-informants were carried out in 2006 to investigate the structures, performance and relationships within the supply chains. Results show a low level of collaboration among various actors especially on cost and benefits sharing. Highly integrated supply chains show higher collaboration especially in the domain of Decision Synchronization. Trust and collaboration appear to be related with increased performance, while, the higher the perceived risk for quality and safety is, the higher the probability of supply chain collaboration
A “farmers’ market” identifies a common area where farmers meet periodically to sell food products which do not need to be processed before consumption. Farmers’ markets have recently experienced steady growth mainly due to increasing demand for traditional foods and rising consumers’ interest towards locally produced food products. It is also the case that they provide transparency along the supply chain and decrease information asymmetries. This study attempts to define the farmers and consumers of farmers’ markets in terms of both their socio-demographic and their attitudinal characteristics. Data gathering was performed carrying out face-to-face interviews with sixty farmers and consumers
The present study investigates the value chain supplying school catering with organic produce, using the organic vegetable industry in the Berlin-Brandenburg region as an example. It employs a qualitative case study approach to explore industry actors’ perspectives and their activities within the value chain. Data is collected by conducting ten in-depth interviews with actors on different supply chain levels (farming, wholesale, and school catering) and is analyzed using qualitative content analysis
The objective of this paper is to show how Value Chain Analysis for Development (VCA4D) applied sustainable development concept for value chain analysis to establish a manageable set of criteria allowing to provide quantitative information, which is desperately lacking in many situations in developing economies, usable by decision makers and in line with policymakers concerns and strategies (the “international development agenda”). The use of researchers to perform the analysis, contributes to the reinforcement of the linkages and mutual understanding between researchers and policy makers
This paper presents a qualitative case study of a US based beef co-operative integrated to a VBSC. Was used an analytical framework of viability, sustainability and resilience to analyse impacts at farm-level. Our analysis highlights a number of positive effects on farm-level viability, sustainability and resilience including improvements to market orientation and price stability, among others which provide crucial insights for beef PO development in Ireland. Furthermore, this paper outlines current Irish stakeholder views towards beef POs and highlights some potential caveats of such an approach in the Irish context
The aim of the present article is to propose a new approach to improve interactions between stakeholders, using traceability and contractualization. Faced with a crisis generated by volatility, collective action, incorporating all stakeholders, including consumers, is needed: but what exactly must be done? The article first describes the SDSC approach which combines three main concepts: Extended Demand, Extended Supply and Demand-Supply Chain (DSC), and then goes on to detail how a collaborativemodeling tool needs to be built up. This approach is currently being tested in a pork agrifood chain
This paper investigates the current research on how consumers select the foods they buy and how they define ‘quality’. Consumer decisions are complex and whilst a few consumers prioritise local above all other factors when selecting food, for most local is simply one of multiple factors which influence the food choices they make. Short Food Chains are not necessarily local but are based on supply chains with fewer steps in the chain from producer to consumer. Short Food Chains ensure that
more of the value of the food is returned to producers and allows consumers to have a more direct connection to where and how their food was produced. Short Food Chains tend to exhibit features which consumers increasingly value, whether these be traceability and provenance, organic, familiarity, tradition or a connection to a specific place and culture. These strengths of Short Food Chains suggest that there is real potential to see major growth in this sector in the coming decade. As Kotler
observed, you have to sell to the pocket, the heart and the soul and, in the food sector, embracing Short Food Chains can help producers to do this
In this paper administrative datasets are utilised to study farms that have converted to organic beef production in Ireland, to draw lessons for future CAP scheme design. The analysis confirms anecdotal evidence in relation to a leakage of animals from the organic to the non-organic (conventional) beef sector. As a result of this differential response across the value chain, there is sub-optimal production of organic meat relative to the investment in incentives for conversion from non-organic to organic production. This may result in risks to the long term viability of the incentive scheme and more widely, for supports for organic farming.
In this paper, the authors, who have worked on developing learning systems in a range of agricultural and environmental contexts since the 1980s, take a long-term look at what has changed over the years and what may need to change in future. They consider how theories and practices have changed and their influences on each other. Through reflecting on their experiences of learning systems (including those of running PhD courses for researchers alongside the International Farming Systems Association (IFSA) symposia) was reviewed the needs for systems thinking in practice (STiP) and some of the responses to these needs
In this paper the High Nature Value (HNV) livestock farming systems are defined. These systems are found mainly in marginal areas where physical factors, and in some cases social factors, have prevented intensification of land-use. NV-LINK is a Horizon2020 project that seeks to improve the socio-economic and environmental sustainability of HNV farming in 10 Learning Areas, and more widely across the EU, by promoting innovation.
The project HNV-LINK aims to identify the types of innovation that work for HNV farming, to highlight the innovations that are needed but not yet implemented on a significant scale, and to promote the exchange and uptake of good innovation practice in support of HNV livestock farming
Nowadays, there are a number of projects tackling on challenges around which this study is based. For instance, the ultimate goal of the current project SKIN is to create a permanent stakeholders’ association on short food supply chain (SFSC) that works on the joint economic growth of the agricultural sector through the exchange of local food practices and through coaching sessions stimulating innovation. It creates a European network of best practices in SFSC that addresses the fragmentation of knowledge in the agricultural sector and supports bottom-up innovation initiatives. No doubts, boosting innovation through that project in local areas will lead to economic growth in the regions.
AFINET is one of the seventeen thematic networks that the European Union has financed under the H2020 framework and it is supervised by the EIP-Agri in order to foster innovation in Europe. The main topic of AFINET is agroforestry a practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation with crops and/or animal systems and the promotion of this practice to foster climate changes. AFINET follows a multi-actor approach linked to the nine Regional Innovations Networks created to identify main challenges and develop main innovations about agroforestry. Main challenges were related to technical, economic, communication and policy issues. Nine regional agroforestry networks (RAINs) were developed during the first year of the AFINET project between June and September 2017. A multi-actor approach was used to integrate different actors from a bottom-up perspective. Each meeting was organized through carefully designed and balanced subgroups to which key questions were asked dealing with main gaps and challenges facing agroforestry implementation. The questions were discussed by using the storm of ideas techniques and summarized with post-its on walls. The meetings were facilitated by the innovation brokers
This paper describes a novel approach to create a collaborative space for grassland innovations contributing to profitability of European grassland farms while preserving environmental benefits. Innovative modes of collaboration between practice and science are enabled by an international thematic network across eight European member states. A methodology serves to collect farmers' innovative ideas and to stimulate collaboration among various stakeholders (farmers' groups, extension services, education and research) including cross-border collaborations, where grassland-related knowledge is made available for local conditions. This interactive innovation model fosters knowledge exchange and establishes a farmland-specific Information Management System. The aim is to stimulate a renewed, collaborative innovation culture for EU grasslands. The methods are conceptualised and put into practice by the Thematic Network project Inno4Grass funded under Horizon 2020
This paper aims to analyze the role of newcomer farmers on farming system innovations. It is based on a two-months long field work in Southern Portugal’s Alentejo region. The analysis of 27 interviews with farmers and members of agricultural organizations reveals neo-farmers’ contribution to farming system innovations at three scales: the farm scale, the scale of professional networks, and the territorial scale. Neo-farmers’ sociocultural background and their will to live off the land while preserving the environment drive their adoption of innovative farming and sale practices, often in line with the principles of agro-ecology. Most of them farm organically. They learn through virtual communities and long-distance exchanges with peers, but also exchange knowledge and practical know-how with local farmers. For this reason, they are significant actors of the transition towards agro-ecology, adopting and spreading innovative farming techniques
This paper reports the activities carried out in the first Regional Agroforestry Innovation Networks (RAINs) meeting organized in Italy where Agroforestry Innovation Network project (AFINET) project is focused on the multipurpose olive tree systems in the territory around Orvieto Municipality, Umbria Region, Central Italy. Stakeholders participating at the meeting perceived that the most relevant opportunities are related to the adoption of good practices, the implementation of cooperation among stakeholders, the enhancement of EU policies, the improvement of marketing of the extra-virgin olive oil
The objective of this study was to integrate sustainability in the innovation process by applying a systems view of foresight in an early stage of innovation development. For this end, we set up a back-casting process based on a triple-helix approach that was adapted to the agricultural setting by including science, policy and agricultural practice. Was deliberately selected four conceptual sustainability-oriented innovations that were driven by the motivation of actors in agricultural science and practice. Based on interviews and focus group workshops we identified short term and long term goals relevant in each case, and described the potentials and challenges perceived in relation to the success of the innovation as well as the sustainability aims. Is discussed the challenges faced within a directional goal-oriented innovation process derived from the triple-helix interaction. We show that the transformation process involves systemic shifts at different levels, and that actors need to address a) the potential for directional change, b) ecosystem intervention, c) economic trade-offs, and d) impact assessment complexity
As part of the EU funded AgriSpin project (www.agrispin.eu), which aimed at “creating space for innovations” in agriculture across Europe, this contribution addresses the above mentioned knowledge gaps by a. elaborating a generic typology appropriate to capture the variety of ISS, b. structuring selected innovations along the degree of technological change and coordination levels, and c. testing the generic ISS typology by way of addressing the research question “Which innovation support services (ISS) are most appropriate and qualitatively best match innovative stakeholders’ needs with respect to their degree of technological change, actors’ coordination, and across phases of innovation process?” After applying an exploratory case study approach for data collection and analysis, results show varied outcomes with regards to the assumption that types of innovations may shape types of ISS intervention
Looking at local learning capacity and systems of relations can help to understand the potential to develop innovation within a specific context. This work contributes to the definition of new actors who are developing innovation for sustainability in rural areas. The study focuses on the knowledge systems of farmers who are applying alternative breeding strategies: it uses a network approach to explore the knowledge system in which individual farmers are embedded in order to understand their specific relational features. Three main conclusions emerge from the study: for enhancing the agro-ecological innovation paradigm there is a need to define the ‘innovation broker’, to revise the evaluation system of public research and to integrate innovation and agricultural policies
The paper is based on the analysis of cooperation in two different German case studies: One case deals with the development of a sustained value chain for ethical poultry production while the other case aims at the combination of different niche innovations for cultural landscape conservation. The empirical analysis is based on the categories ‘goals of the innovation and motives of cooperation’, ‘actors and their resources’, ‘distribution of costs and benefits’, ‘cooperation structure and management’. It comprises guided interviews with central actors of the co-operative networks and participative observation as part of a transdisciplinary research process
In this study was tested how different ways of composing collaborative action networks influence food innovation. Networks have received considerable attention in the literature and are perceived to enhance the likelihood of innovation success by overcoming resource and capability deficiencies. While previous studies of collaborate innovation in the food sector have been mostly qualitative case studies of one or a few networks, we compare 96 networks which were all structured according to the same network template. After content-analysing archive data, we estimated a vector-generalised linear model with binomial response distributions and probit link functions; with network composition as the predictor and the innovation process charateristics and outcomes as response variables
This article describes the foreign and domestic approaches to the assessment of agricultural and agro-industrial innovations. The cost behavior analysis in case of agro-industrial technological innovations has been conducted and the efficiency of the growth in high tech production and manufacture has been evaluated. A paradoxical regularity has been revealed: with the relatively stable investments in agriculture there is a sharp reduction in the use of intellectual property. This tendency dictates the need to improve the management system of the intellectual property application. In order to solve this problem, evaluation indicators of innovation efficiency have been proposed. These indicators are based on the results of expert surveys. A methodology for monitoring the innovation efficiency in agriculture has been developed: the criteria include the level of state significance, the technical-and-economic level, the degree of availability, the cost-efficiency, the level of security. This research proposes the directions of the innovation management improvement in agricultural and agro-industrial sectors. These directions have been found on the basis of the institutional approach development and the evaluation of the systemic innovation efficiency. Improving the quality of expertise in assessing agro-industrial innovations will allow us to select the most promising innovations with high-payoff technologies. In addition, it will be taken into account when assigning subsidies according to the industry-specific and regional characteristics
By referring to the developments of transition theories, this paper analyse the innovation pathways involving the wheat-bread value chain in Tuscany (Italy). The analysis sheds light on the relevance of the nature of social innovation carried out by grassroots initiatives in their pursuing radical change aimed at deeply redefining production-consumption practices through social interaction, to meet socially shared needs and achieving several social benefits. The paper also analyses the factors and mechanisms underlying the change processes this innovation has triggered in the mainstream system, focusing on the so-called “anchoring” process. Through this analysis, the work aims at improving the understanding of the transformative potential of social innovation
This research is dedicated to illuminating the relationship between knowledge and innovation within agrifood supply chains (ASCs) – although insightful and informative – is marked by conceptual and methodological issues that restrict our ability to understand the ways knowledge affects innovation and vice versa. In this work, adopting a systems approach to ASCs and synthesizing literature from different fields of study, we discuss the metaphors that guide research in this area, and we propose an alternative conceptualization of ASCs
This paper is part of the H2020 project AgriLink “Agricultural Knowledge: Linking farmers, advisors and researchers to boost innovation”. It presents and develops the concept of ‘microAKIS’, i.e. the micro knowledge- and innovation-system that farmers personally assemble to manage their agricultural practices and ensure sustainability. It includes the range of individuals and organisations with whom farmers seek services and exchange knowledge, and the processes involved in the formation and working of this system, including the way farmers translate these resources into innovative activities (or not)
In the Netherlands, agroforestry is still in its infancy with silvoarable agroforestry systems being the most rarely adopted form of agroforestry. In order to reach a broader adoption of agroforestry, many regulatory and practical obstacles have to be overcome. By using a systems innovation approach this paper show that this transition process can be facilitated and accelerated in a targeted manner. System innovations in agriculture are multi-objective changes on the technological, social, economic and institutional level. These changes span over the public and private sector, necessitating team coalitions with many different stakeholders. In this paper we illustrate how during the different phases of system innovation different strategies and interventions can be used for removing obstacles and developing the needed innovations. We also discuss innovation networks as an important structure for bringing all available expertise and experience together in one cooperation platform, consisting of advice organizations, farmers, governmental institutions and other stakeholders
In the AgriSpin project (2015-2017) fifteen organisations involved in innovation support tried to understand better how each of them made a difference in helping farmers to innovate. In principle, each partner organisation hosted a Cross Visits of 3 – 4 days, to present a number of interesting innovation cases in which it was involved. The visiting team, composed of colleagues from other partner organisations, interviewed key actors in each case, and gave feedback about pearls, puzzlings and proposals in these innovation processes. This paper reports about the methodological aspects of the AgriSpin project. How do you make observations with a team of 7 – 12 colleagues? How do you collect all these observations and how do you make sense out of it? And what did the innovation support agents who participated in the AgriSpin project take home from this adventure?
This study wants to analyse the extent to which the different research and innovation (R&I) instruments designed under the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural productivity and sustainability (EIP-AGRI) look for synergies and intensify effective linkages with each other to strengthen the respective dynamics. The study is based on a case study representing the Italian EIP-AGRI system. Data are collected through direct interviews, semistructured questionnaires, focus groups and workshops. This study is a preliminary investigation of more in-depth researches aimed at analysing all the complex multi-level and multi-actor dynamics and the cross-scale interactions along the whole innovation systems
This paper explores the potential of Actor Network Theory (ANT) in understanding how the process of interaction and translation between human and non-human actors contribute to the development, adoption and diffusion of science-based innovations linked to the transition to organic farming. The study relies on two case studies, the French Camargue case covering a range of technical and social innovations, and the case from Bulgaria focusing on the development of a technical and product innovation, i.e. a veterinary product for organic beekeeping. The paper shows the limitations of classical approaches in studying innovations since they underestimate the role of heterogeneous actors, their status, and how they interact with each other
The study relies on the activities performed within EU funded Horizon 2020 project, AgriSpin (www.agrispin.eu), specifically for the case of Cilento Bio-district in Campania region, Italy. The methodology is centred on the “cross-visit method” developed within the AgriSpin Project, based on direct observation, interviews with relevant actors and analysis of grey literature. In this paper, is presented main insights from the Cross visit on this multi-actor interaction around organic farming innovation organised at a territorial level by specifically highlighting a) the co-operation mechanisms among the different actors involved in the process of Bio-district development and consolidation, b) the coordination of the different innovation support services involved and, c) the implication for the innovation system governance in terms of public policies
The farmer-inventors mostly use tacit knowledge and practical skills to create their inventions with the objective of increasing efficiency as a means to improving family farm viability. Farmer-inventors with entrepreneurial intentions were less inclined to share their ideas freely and described financial and temporal constraints in commercialising their inventions. The Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) concept was used to frame an analysis of farmer-inventors’ interactions with innovation support organisations from the perspective of the farmers themselves. This allowed appraisal of the Irish AKIS’ support of farmer-led innovation relating to the positioning, visibility, and representation of farmers’ knowledge, inventions, and networks. This study contributes new knowledge about user innovation in European agriculture as EIP-AGRI co-production structures become established. It is proposed that farmers are a hitherto underappreciated source of independent knowledge and inventions in agricultural development and are poorly supported by AKIS institutions
This paper is aimed at raising the discussion on frameworks and practices to analyse and support of innovation processes of operational groups in rural development policy. The analysis highlights an increasing interest of the current evaluation and research practices on interactive innovation processes, collaborative learning and capacity development both at individual, collective and systems levels. Particularly, transformative-oriented frameworks have been developed in view of supporting capacity development in innovation systems
This paper relates the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) to be implemented by Operational Groups (OGs) in Basilicata. New relationships and regeneration produced a “bio-economic Cluster”, creating “smart” specialization and a system linking research, innovation and the enterprise world. The Cluster consolidated competence and knowledge in small and medium enterprises, including agriculture and forest farms and encouraged the dissemination and implementation of innovative products and processes. Creating this system was a shared objective in Basilicata through horizontal and vertical collaboration between research organizations and the enterprise world in order to introduce innovations for companies and rural territories. This paper analyses the relationships between scientists, advisors and small and medium enterprises through interviews with experts from the Cluster in order to establish OGs
The aim of this study is to explore how the governance of a global food value chain can facilitate the value chain’s market orientation. The study applies a multiple case study design. Four in-depth case studies were conducted on global food value chains from New Zealand to Western Europe dealing with the products apples, kiwis, venison and lamb. Interviews were conducted with actors from these four value chains in the Netherlands as well as in New Zealand. In each value chain actors with similar functions were interviewed in order to make the results comparable. Analysis of the case studies shows that network governance (i.e. leadership, shared governance and facilitation), contractual agreements (i.e. type and content: price, volume, quality) and informal relationships (i.e. trust and commitment) can contribute to the market orientation of a value chain.
The aim of this study is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of Russian grain production, to determine country’s production potential and its possibility to remain one of the major grain producers on the world market. On the one hand was estimated the technical efficiency during the period of transition to the market economy. By applying a novel approach to the estimation of production efficiency on a regional level, we assess the grain production potential and determine factors that influence productivity beyond the control of the farmers. On the other hand we conduct a detailed analysis of the climate change impact on grain production. We base our study on panel fixed-effect regressions of grain yields on a set of crop specific weather indicators. Furthermore, we use climate change projections for the medium and long terms to estimate the effect of global warming on grain productivity in different regions of the country
The aim of the paper is to analyse the linkage between science development, innovative ideas, their dissemination, establishment of extension services and their impact on the innovative development of the agricultural sector. As a result, solutions for expanding the coverage of the extension network, together with the diversification and improvement of its services are provided. The primary data from key stakeholders were collected through a semi-structured interview. Secondary data were collected from official statistical yearbooks, publications of the National Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Moldova, decisions of the Government of Moldova related to the development of the RDI activities and extension services, articles and studies developed by local and foreign experts. An important source of the secondary information was the Country report elaborated with the contribution of authors in the framework of the FP7 project “AGRICISTRADE”
In this paper four mini-case studies are presented which demonstrate the breadth of past collective actions that have been undertaken by a substantial proportion of businesses in food value chains, two in Europe and two in Australia. These are (1) the Euro Pool System, (2) Global Standards certification in Europe and globally,
(3) Meat Standards Australia, and (4) the OBE Beef organic producer alliance in Australia. Each case study yields insights into the rationale of how businesses in different food value chains in different countries have acted as a club to use their joint resources to internalise positive innovation and coordination externalities that
would not have been possible to achieve were these businesses to act independently
The aim of this research is to explore the different policy frameworks adopted by the Italian regions to support cooperation for innovation projects in RDPs in the period 2007-2013. These were analysed against the conceptual background outlined by the European Commission and the international literature on the interactive approach to innovation processes (EC, 2013). The study is supported by the use of a mixed-methods approach, based on desk and on field research, qualitative and quantitative methods
In the paper, is presented the opinion of the main stakeholders to the Innovation potential of the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information (IAEI) as a significant actor in the AKIS. In the paper, is also defined the innovation potential of the IAEI as the ability to create, execute or provide the innovation and crucial information to the Czech AKIS. In order to mapping the current position and the innovation potential of the IAEI, were used desk research and semi-structured interviews
The main objective of this paper is to describe the AgroFE and Agrof-MM projects. This projects aims to develop an agroforestry training system based on a common framework and core content, and to promote training at European level. The knowledge databank is a component of the project training system. It aims to gather and share a set of documents, resources that partners can use and which will have been accessed by learners and the public users. The core content of different levels of training and the knowledge databank has been developed and the distribution of the results are in progress across Europe by innovative ICT tools
This paper starts describing the importance of agroforestry systems for the increase of productivity, resilience and efficiency. After the papaer describes the current state of agroforestry in Eastern Europe and its challenges and introduces good examples of agroforestry innovation networks initiatives in the region.
In this paper is proposed to conduct a first stage AKIS diagnostic exercise developing a map of the system of the actors involved in water quality protection and catchment management that interact with the farming community. Specifically we will use the tool to understand: (a) Who are the players? (b) What roles do they have? (c) what is their position in the Innovation System. A key part in changing the regulatory or public incentive system is to change the behaviour not only of the farmers but also of the policy makers to facilitate the movement to a more localised approach. The fundamental message of this paper is that improving a complex local environmental externality • Requires local solutions and information and incentives • Taking an Innovation System perspective to the problem solution • Means that changing the behaviour of farmers may involve changing the behaviour of others upstream within the innovation system, requiring an examination of their incentives and motivations • Local information is necessary to facilitate local decisions
Public administrations have in recent years developed programs of public funding for innovation to boost the competitiveness of business. The study of how companies have used these funding sources generates knowledge to improve the design of support for private innovation and to provide advice for innovative companies. This paper investigates these issues in the agri-food sector which is of particular interest as it is comprised mainly of small and medium enterprises with a wide regional presence and interaction with their local environment. A survey on technological innovation was used to estimate panel logit models with random effects, taking as dependent variables three types of funding: regional, state and European Union
This paper aims to analyze the innovative effort of the agri-food system (AFS) in the Valencian Autonomous Community (VC), Spain, estimating the intensity of innovation in each subsector of the AFS. The analysis distinguishes between the direct and indirect (or induced) innovation intensities incorporated by the acquisition of inputs from other subsectors produced in the VC or in the rest of Spain. The methodology employed is based on the inputoutput framework combined with data of technological innovation in enterprises. This methodology provides the novelty of been applied to a region —the VC— and not to a country as it is usually done
This paper studies the relationship between internationalization and performance in agri-food firms. In line with the recent literature, it analyses the effects of the degree of internationalization using a uniform sample, a long-term focus and a measure that combines export intensity and regional diversification. The study empirically confirms the hypothesis of a horizontal S-curve relationship between geographical diversification and performance and identifies three phase
The current market situation has led the production sector to focus on developing new products that satisfy consumer demands and improve firms’ competitive positions. This study seeks to analyze the role played by the consumers’ innovative tendency in the acceptance of new food products. This was done through the use of means-end chain theory in an application for coffee in Spain
The aim of this paper is to analyse whether the family control exerts a significant influence on profitability in agri-food companies that have been vertically integrated. This assumption is based on the idea that family-owned firms better overcome the internal conflict that arises in a company by reducing transaction costs. We have analysed the determinants of the profitability and its annual increase, considering the kind of company and its sector
Among other functions, the INIA is involved in national and international cooperation in the field of agri-food research. The process of identifying and classifying gaps in our knowledge forms an essential part of this effort. This article describes that process, the tools and the materials used to achieve the final objective, namely, the identification of research priorities in the Spanish agri-food sector in order to deal with the societal challenges posed by society and the stakeholders involved. These challenges, within the context of the bioeconomy, are the sustainability of primary and forestry production systems, the safety and quality of food and bioproducts as well as the competitiveness of farmers and companies in this sector. It is necessary to optimize resource management and means of production along with improved efficiency to guarantee sustainability throughout the value chain process. The main goal, under the current scenario of climate change, is to develop models which lead to a balance between food quality and production costs (competitiveness and economic sustainability), ecosystem conservation and mitigation of the environmental impacts (environmental sustainability) while maintaining the population in rural areas (social sustainability)
The aim of this study is try to assess the potential of a hybrid approach to unravel consumer behaviour in agri-food markets. Concretely, the hybridization of the attitudinal approach, by means of the classical-utility theory, is explored, which represents a novelty in the literature where those attempts are truly scarce for foodstuffs.
This brief evaluates the needs in order to Albania develop a competitive Fruit and Vegetable market.The fruit and vegetable sector represents 20 percent of Albanian agriculture but contributes 36 percent of its exports and this share is expected to increase. The note posits an idea that as the domestic market for many of these products is saturated, Albanian fruits and vegetables have been gaining ground in the Western Balkans and are well positioned to make headway in the EU-28 market as well. However, Albanian producers face many constraints in meeting the rigid and complex demands of the EU market, constraints that an export strategy focused solely on identifying products for export is unlikely to change. The policy paradigm has shifted to approaches that focus on integrating local industries into global value chains that help facilitate technology transfer and create jobs
This paper addresses the question how public-private partnerships (PPPs) function as systemic innovation policy instruments within agricultural innovation systems. Public-private partnerships are a popular government tool to promote innovations. However, the wide ranging nature of PPPs make it difficult to assess their effects beyond the direct impacts they generate for the partners. This paper broadens the discussion on the evaluation of PPPs beyond the organisational and financial benefits of the actors involved, and assesses their contribution to the functioning of the innovation system itself. In this paper, we utilise an innovation system perspective that focusses on how PPPs influence the dynamic interplay of innovation system functions and how these functions form a set of feedback loops that constitute an ‘innovation motor’. We compare the innovation history of four cases that differ in their strategic policy goals, either working on agricultural sustainability, or on the international competitiveness in the Dutch agricultural sector. The results show the strengths and weaknesses of different types of public-private partnerships as systemic instruments and their capability to orchestrate other types of innovation policy instruments.
The nature of the issues around which Agricultural Research for Development (ARD) partnerships are formed requires a different way of conceptualizing and thinking to that commonly found in many agricultural professionals. This brief clarifies the components of a system of interest to an ARD partnership.
Despite efforts over recent years to improve the status of agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa, little change has been noted, due partially to the fact that efforts have come from individual entities, which had short-term funding or lacked the necessary expertise to scale up research outputs. Disconnect between researchers and end-users has further hindered the success of such efforts. The Platform for Africa-Europe Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD), therefore designed a multi-stakeholder partnership approach to overcome existing shortcomings in agricultural research for development (ARD). Through a variety of brokerage mechanisms, PAEPARD has supported the formation of consortia made up of multi-stakeholder partners from the public and private sectors, which are intended to address priority research issues and respond to user needs. The public sector can be represented by government ministries, such as the Ministry of Agriculture or Ministry of Industry and Trade; regional and locallevel government representative offices; state banks involved in financing rural development; state-owned enterprises, such as seed companies and agroprocessing facilities; and publicly funded research institutions, marketing boards and universities. On the other hand, the private sector encompasses all for-profit businesses that are not owned or operated by the government, as well as independent non-profit organizations, such as non-governmental organizations (NGO) and charities. The private partners involved in PAEPARD consortia include farmer organizations, agro-processing enterprises, input supply companies and NGO.
The paper takes a critical look at two key interventions identified to deliver the PAEPARD capacity strengthening strategy. Firstly, the training of a pool of agricultural innovation facilitators (AIF) to broker relations between relevant stakeholders for the consolidation of effective consortia. PAEPARD envisaged the role of AIF as to support both the face-to-face and virtual (via skype, email or social media) engagement of partners in capacity strengthening processes. The second key capacity strengthening intervention examined in this paper, is the instrument of “writeshop” to support consortia to produce “bankable” proposals in response to identified funding opportunities.
In 2011, the Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) launched the Users-led Process (ULP) to better articulate users’ needs in a multi-stakeholder research and innovation (R&I) partnership. The ULP comprises six critical steps: (1) Identification of a federating theme; (2) Desk review; (3) Introduction workshop; (4) Multi-stakeholder research question inception workshop; (5) Concept note development; (6) Full proposal development. In this study, we reviewed the evolution of the ULP as implemented by five organisations (EAFF1 , PROPAC2 , ROPPA3 , COLEACP4 , FANRPAN5 ), identified the ULP stage at which European partners become engaged, and evaluated their contribution. The assessment involved the analysis of both secondary and primary data obtained through literature reviews, interviews and online questionnaires, as well as social network analysis. The following is a summary of the lessons learned.
The organisation of sector and multi-stakeholder consultations was an integral part of the first phase of the PAEPARD II programme, covering the period 2009–2013. These consultations contributed to the overall objective of the programme, the reorientation of scientific and technical collaboration between Africa and Europe in the area of agricultural research for development (ARD), in order to promote thecreation of multi-stakeholder partnerships that are demand-oriented and mutually beneficial. These consultations aimed in particular to guide the PAEPARD programme by drawing up recommendations for the establishment of partnerships that would be innovative, balanced and demand-driven.
Wthin the context of ARD, capacity strengthening is seen as a process of continual development, as opposed to one-off training. It enhances interaction, builds trust and creates synergy between research institutions and public and private sector actors, smallholder farmers and development organizations. Strengthening the capacities of these different actors for collaboration enables them to address a whole range of activities, investments and policies, and take advantage of opportunities to make change happen. The process of building strong stakeholder relations based on commitment and trust is often as important as the specific solutions developed to address research and development challenges.
Most agencies supporting agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) provide funds for discrete projects over specific periods of time, usually a maximum of three years. Research topics identified for calls for proposals are not always well aligned with users’ needs. In particular, research topics may not reflect the priorities of organizations - such as farmer organizations and private agribusinesses, with interests in the research outcomes; they are not generally supported to play a significant role as project partners. The failure to include relevant stakeholders inproject decision making, among other factors, impacts the quality of research and severely limits the uptake of research outputs, thereby reducing the potential development impact. The Platform for an Africa-Europe Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) has sought to overcome these shortcomings by mobilizing and supporting multi-stakeholder research consortia to address priority research issues that respond to users’ needs. In implementing this user-led approach, some key lessons have been learned about funding agricultural research for development (ARD).
The lessons and recommendations outlined in this paper were captured at a PAEPARD Capitalization Workshop with all partners, held in Cotonou, Benin, on 2-6 October 2017. The workshop was key to the overall evaluation of PAEPARD II, as it encouraged participants to analyse and reflect on their experiences of the AfricanEuropean MSP for ARD processes facilitated by PAEPARD over the last 7 years. During discussions, the partners reflected on the way forward for PAEPARD activities and the sustainability of its achievements, with recommendations for a potential ‘new era’ and promoting the MSP structure at both policy and ground levels. The main objective of the workshop was to draw specific lessons (both successes and failures) from the ULP, CRF-IF and consortia, which are outlined below.
As the PAEPARD project is complex and multi-faceted, ensuring that appropriate information is made available to users in a timely manner and in a form that can be easily understood and used has been a major challenge.
This document presents a summary of the main findings of sector and multi-stakeholder consultations conducted by the Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) during 2010-2012. It provides recommendations for the sustainable establishment of partnerships in agricultural research for development (ARD), between African and European partners in particular, to be innovative, balanced and demand-driven. From the consultations all PAEPARD partners agreed that, while the cultures and interests of each sector are often different, points of view need to converge and expertise be put at the disposal of all partners if a multi-stakeholder partnership in ARD is to be successful.
PAEPARD supports/facilitates three aflatoxin-related research consortia: (a) Stemming aflatoxin pre- and post-harvest waste in the groundnut value chain in Malawi and Zambia; (b) Developing strategies to reduce fungal toxins contamination for improved food sufficiency, nutrition and incomes along the maize value chain in the arid and semi-arid lands of Eastern Kenya; and (c) Developing feed management protocols for dairy farmers in high rainfall areas in Kenya.
This paper highlights lessons learned from the development of PAEPARD-supported consortia, which illustrate various impacts of brokerage. The preliminary conclusions and recommendations may appear obvious at first sight, but will be useful for informing the implementation of brokerage activities until PAEPARD activities come to an end in December 2017.
The main objective of the Guidelines is to provide a non-binding complement to other guidelines and offer advice to RDP evaluation stakeholders on how to carry out the evaluation activities for answering the common evaluation questions related to innovation. Since the RDP’s effects on innovation in rural areas can be expected to take place, most likely, in the long-term, the guidelines focus in particular on those evaluation related activities, which will be reported in the AIR in 2019 and in the ex post evaluation. The Guidelines are structured in three parts:
- Chapter 1 explains the innovation system in rural areas and the concept of the evaluation of innovation in rural development. The concept introduces the EU and RDP policy framework and how they interrelate with each other, as well as the overview of the common evaluation elements. Chapter 1.3 also discusses the challenges linked to the evaluation of innovation in rural development policy.
- Chapter 2 informs Managing Authorities about specificities linked to managing the evaluation of innovation and reporting requirements. Chapter 2.2 explains the approaches to answering the innovation-related evaluation questions and provides specific guidance for each of the common evaluation questions: numbers 1, 2, 21, 23 and 30 concerning those aspects which relate to innovation. This includes the description of methods adequate for the evaluation of innovation.
- Chapter 3 (Annexes) includes the glossary and the steps for identifying the RDP innovation potential
Climate change is a huge challenge for the agriculture and rural development (ARD) sector in Romania. On the one hand, agriculture is a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and must therefore be expected to contribute towards the climate change mitigation goals of the Europe 2020 strategy. European farmers, foresters, rural businesses, and other local people therefore need to start paying much greater attention to climate change and the growing uncertainty that it will bring to their day-to-day lives and longer term strategies for production, management, investment, and community development. This report is one of six rapid sectoral analyses undertaken within the framework of component B of the World Bank's Romania climate change Reimbursable Advisory Service (RAS) Program. The title of component B is "identify and integrate climate actions into the 2014-2020 sector operational programs". The specific objective of this report is to contribute to the successful mainstreaming of climate action into Romania's post-2013 rural development policy - namely the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) co-financed National Rural Development Program (NRDP) for Romania 2014-2020. This report builds upon a number of working documents produced by the European commission on the theme of mainstreaming climate change in 2014-2020 rural development policy. The report contains 6 main sections: an introduction to the characteristics of the ARD sector in Romania.; an overview of the vulnerabilities and risks from climate change in the ARD sector in Romania, beginning with an introduction to the changes in baseline climate that are currently observed and predicted; a brief review of existing national strategies, policies, and initiatives of relevance to the ARD sector in Romania, including a description of the EAFRD measures related to climate action that were included in the NRDP for Romania 2007-2013;the identification and description of priorities for climate change mitigation and adaptation in the ARD sector in Romania; an introduction to the opportunities for mainstreaming climate actions in the forthcoming NRDP for Romania for 2014-2020, including a basic intervention logic (the foundation of all strategic programming for the EAFRD) and some examples of specific climate actions that can be supported by the EAFRD; a closing section highlighting the uncertainties regarding the findings of this rapid sectoral analysis and the need for further work.
This presentation at the GCARD Montpellier, in March 2010, focuses on the Danish model for agricultural advisory services.
This paper describes the research path followed by a team of researchers who had investigated the nitrate problem in a case study area, and who became aware of the low impact of their data on the policy debate and on the practices that – as the research team saw it – had given rise to the problem in the first place. They embarked on a series of interactions first with participatory action researchers from the SLIM project (see Fig. 2 in the editorial of this issue) and thereafter with a variety of stakeholders, developing as they went along a series of “tools for dialogue” that allowed interrogation of their data by non-specialists and the confrontation of different perspectives on the problem and its solution. The team of scientists changed the way they viewed the problem of nitrate pollution of drinking water, and made efforts to bring scientific data into the public realm in ways that might bring about change in practices. In the process, the research team members had to deepen their social understanding and to learn new skills, such as facilitation, as well as develop command of a new theoretical language that could describe their emergent practice—that of social learning.
Partnership brokering is needed to work out new ways of organising food systems that treat agricultural smallholders as a resource and opportunity rather than a problem or distraction. This is because food systems are demanding innovation in the way they are organised. This is a matter of transforming stakeholders into partners in order to reconfigure food systems to operate differently, rather than just operate more efficiently. Fundamental systemic changes are needed as our contemporary food system is failing to deliver the food we increasingly demand. From a partnership brokering point of view, reconfiguration of stakeholders and partners is the challenge. The key driver lies with urban consumers, especially in Europe and North America who are demanding food that is tasty, fresh, additive-free and most importantly of known (traceable) origin. Brokering new types of food systems as partnerships of individuals and organisations means disrupting the status quo or business-as-usual to connect producers and consumers as directly as possible in new ways. This article presents the insights and experiences of two partnership brokers using partnership brokering to engage smallholders in reconfiguring local food systems in their respective countries of Poland and Zambia.
This report presents the main results of the EU-funded IN-SIGHT project ‘Strengthening Innovation Processes for Growth and Development’. The authors sketched out a conceptual framework and knowledge base for a more effective European policy on innovation in agriculture and rural areas. Both conceptual framework and knowledge base are consistent with the new European agenda for agricultural and rural policy and sensitive to the diversity of the European agricultural and rural systems. The work carried out and presented in this report is based on a successive deepening of analysis: Actual work started with two more generic work packages. The first was an up-to-date synthesis of relevant conceptual frameworks and theories. In a member-states-level review of innovation practice in the seven countries represented in the consortium we then examined innovation systems and processes in the agricultural, environmental and rural sphere (Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, France and Finland). Building on the first two work packages, three in-depth reviews were carried out in order to deepen the analysis. These reviews focused on (a) innovations in agriculture with a particular focus on marketing alternatives; (b) innovations in environmental technologies with a particular focus on bioenergy; and (c) innovations in rural development with a particular focus on innovations in the provision of new rural services and a better use of ICTs. The comparative analysis of the results of the three in-depth reviews provided, together with the results of the first two work packages, and the results of a series of consultations with relevant institutions and stakeholders, the basis for deriving recommendations for EU- and memberstates-level innovation policy as well as innovation practice.
This paper synthesizes Component 2 of the Regoverning Markets Programme. It is based on 38 empirical case studies where small-scale farmers and businesses connected successfully to dynamic markets, doing business with agri-processors and supermarkets. The studies aimed to derive models, strategies and policy principles to guide public and private sector actors in promoting greater participation of small-scale producers in dynamic markets. This publication forms part of the Regoverning Markets project.
Organic farming is recognized as one source for innovation helping agriculture to develop sustainably. However, the understanding of innovation in agriculture is characterized by technical optimism, relying mainly on new inputs and technologies originating from research. The paper uses the alternative framework of innovation systems describing innovation as the outcome of stakeholder interaction and examples from the SOLID (Sustainable Organic Low-Input Dairying) project to discuss the role of farmers, researchers and knowledge exchange for innovation. The authors used a farmer-led participatory approach to identify problems of organic and low-input dairy farming in Europe and develop and evaluate innovative practices.
IFPRI’s flagship report reviews the major food policy issues, developments, and decisions of 2016, and highlights challenges and opportunities for 2017 at the global and regional levels. This year’s report looks at the impact of rapid urban growth on food security and nutrition, and considers how food systems can be reshaped to benefit both urban and rural populations. Drawing on recent research, IFPRI researchers and other distinguished food policy experts consider a range of timely questions:
■ What do we know about the impacts of urbanization on hunger and nutrition?
■ What are our greatest research and data needs for better policy making that will ensure food security and improve diets for growing
■ How can we better connect rural smallholders to urban food consumers to ensure that smallholders benefit from expanding urban food markets?
■ Why do city environments drive a nutrition transition toward poorer diets, and what policies can improve the nutrition environment?
■ How are urban areas reshaping agricultural value chains for staple crops and benefiting small farmers?
■ What role do informal markets play in feeding cities, and how can they be better governed to increase urban food security?
The 2017 Global Food Policy Report also presents data tables and visualizations for several key food policy indicators, including country-
level data on hunger, agricultural spending and research investment, and projections for future agricultural production and consumption. In addition to illustrative figures, tables, and a timeline of food policy events in 2016, the report includes the results of a global opinion poll on urbanization and the current state of food policy.
Farmers’ experiments can be defined as the autonomous activities of farmers to try or introduce something new at the farm, and include evaluation of success or failure with farmers’ own methods. Experiments enable farmers to adapt their farms to changing circumstances, build up local knowledge, and have resulted in countless agricultural innovations. Most research on the topic has been conducted in countries of the south. In this paper, however, the authors present experiments of randomly sampled organic farmers in Austria, and they discuss implications for agricultural innovation systems.
In this book, the authors assessed the role of biotechnology innovation for sustainable development in emerging and developing economies. This book compiles studies that each illustrate the potential, demonstrated value and challenges of biotechnology applications for sustainable agricultural innovation and/or industrial development in a national, regional and international context. This book was written in the frame of the International Industrial Biotechnology Network (IIBN), a joint initiative between UNIDO and IPBO (International Plant Biotechnology Outreach) supported by the Flemish government (EWI). IIBN coordinated by IPBO fosters the development of sustainable applications of agricultural and industrial biotechnology in developing and emerging economies through international cooperation.
The report entitled ‘Innovation in the Irish Agri-food Sector’ was compiled by researchers from the University College of Dublin (UCD) following interviews with stakeholders from across the sector, and an analysis of data from Eurostat, the OECD, and the Teagasc National Farm Survey. The report also shows that the sector is strong in terms of research capacity, overall education levels, and favourable tax regimes to encourage business innovation. The report was launched at the international conference ‘Driving Innovation in the Irish Agri-Food System', held in June 2014 at the UCD.
Grants for agricultural innovation are common but grant funds specifically targeted to smallholder farmers remain relatively rare. Nevertheless, they are receiving increasing recognition as a promising venue for agricultural innovation. They stimulate smallholders to experiment with improved practices, to become proactive and to engage with research and extension providers. The systematic review covered three modalities of disbursing these grants to smallholder farmers and their organisations: vouchers, competitive grants and farmer-led innovation support funds. The synthesis covers, among others, innovation grant systems in Malawi (Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme), Latin America (several Challenge Funds for Farmer Groups), Uganda (National Agricultural Advisory Services ), and Colombia (Local Agricultural Research Committees - CIAL). This research was funded by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). The research was commissioned as part of a joint call for systematic reviews with the Department for International Development (DFID) and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie).
This brief explores the definition of Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) and the inventory of AKIS in Europe.
This article starts by describing the evolution of innovation in agricultural research and cooperation for development, including an historical overview of agricultural research for development from green revolution to the re-discover of traditional knowledge. Then the authors analyze participation in innovation processes and make a comparison of innovation systems and platforms targeting the agri-food sector in developing countries. A particular focus is reserved to the European regional networks and to the experience of the USAID Middle East Water and Livelihoods Initiative. Finally, a series of recommendations for the way forward are drawn.
Michael Kügler, from the Brussels Office of the EU-Platform of Chambers of Agriculture, presented the EU-Innovation Partnership (EIP),designed to support knowledge transfer, coop-eration, and collective investment, at the 3rd GFRAS Annual Meeting, "The Role of Rural Advisory Services in Agricultural Innovation Systems", 26-28 September 2012, Philippines. He referred to the need to pursue innovation in a cross-sectorial approach, interlinking existing initiatives, facilitating communication, providing value added through networking, and achieving syner-gies.
This book represents the proceedings of the FAO international technical conference dedicated to Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC-10) that took place in Guadalajara, Mexico on 1-4 March 2010. A major objective of the conference was to take stock of the application of biotechnologies across the different food and agricultural sectors in developing countries, in order to learn from the past and to identify options for the future to face the challenges of food insecurity, climate change and natural resource degradation. The proceedings are organized in two main sections. The first section contains ten chapters with an extensive series of FAO background documents prepared before ABDC-10. They focus on the current status and options for biotechnologies in developing countries in crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries/aquaculture and food processing/safety, as well as on related policy issues and options, in particular about targeting agricultural biotechnologies to the poor; enabling research and development (R&D) for agricultural biotechnologies; and ensuring access to the benefits of R&D. The second section contains five chapters dedicated to the outcomes of ABDC-10, namely the reports from 27 parallel sessions of sectoral, cross-sectoral and regional interest, most of which were organized by different intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations and regional fora; keynote presentations; and the conference report adopted by delegates in Guadalajara on the final day.
Recently, Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKISs) have gained considerable attention in scientific and political forums in the European Union (EU). AKIS is considered a key concept in identifying, analysing and assessing the various actors in the agricultural sector as well as their communication and interaction for innovation processes. Using qualitative expert interviews and organizational mapping, the features of national AKISs were investigated in selected EU member states (Belgium, France, Ireland, Germany, Portugal and the UK). The authors present the different national AKISs and compare them qualitatively with refgggard to their institutional settings, their overall policy frameworks and their coordinating structures. Conclusions are drawn with regard to AKIS appraisal in general and the usefulness of the AKIS concept, particularly for the understanding and evaluation of policy-induced innovation in agriculture.
The ‘Mapping Report’ is the synthesis of the statistical information and the survey results available to describe agrifood research in European countries. The main source of information was the results of a bibliometric analysis (in the EU-33 countries), a web-assisted survey (in the EU-12+2 countries) and the country reports (for the EU-15 countries) prepared in the AgriMapping project frame in 2006 and 2007. When relevant, available complementary statistics were also used.
This report forms part of the deliverables from "EU AGRI MAPPING ", a project which aimed to provide recommendations on the desirable developments in agricultural and food research in Europe. Other documents of the project, available on TAPipedia, are (1) the Country Reports document, (2) the Country Summary document and (3) the Final Report.
This report presents the results of a study that shall contribute to provide information on the national organisation of agricultural research and an overall picture of developments in agricultural research in 33 selected countries (current EU28 plus Iceland, Israel, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). The study covers all areas related to agricultural and food research research including research dedicated to emerging challenges of the European agricultural and food sector in 2006/2007.
This report forms part of the deliverables from "EU AGRI MAPPING ", a project which aimed to provide recommendations on the desirable developments in agricultural and food research in Europe. Other documents of the project, available on TAPipedia, are (1) the Country Reports document, (2) the Country Summary document and (3) the Mapping Report
This document provides a review of existing reports regarding the agri-food research landscape in 2006/2007 for 14 EU countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey) and also explores trends and needs in other EU or associated countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, United Kingdom).
The document forms part of the deliverables from "EU AGRI MAPPING ", a project which aimed to provide recommendations on the desirable developments in agricultural and food research in Europe. Other documents of the project, available on TAPipedia, are (1) the Country Reports document, (2) the Mapping Report and (3) the Final Report.
This report compiles country-reports that describe the agri-food research landscape in 2006/2007 in 33 countries associated to the 6th Framework Programme (FP6), which defined the European for the period from 2002 to 2006. Each country-report presents information about the main research players in 2006/2007 and about the current trends and the future needs for research topics and for the organisation of the agri-food research system.
This report forms part of the deliverables from "EU AGRI MAPPING ", a project which aimed to provide recommendations on the desirable developments in agricultural and food research in Europe. Other documents of the project, available on TAPipedia, are the (1) Country Summary document, (2) the Mapping Report and (3) the Final Report.
This report has the aim of contributing to the PRO AKIS overall goal of exploring and identifying the possibilities, conditions and requirements of rural networks to enhance the farmers’ ability to create, test, implement and evaluate innovation in cooperation with other actors.In particular, the report presents two cases: the Small Fruit Cluster (SFC) and the Drosophila Suzukii Monitoring (DSM) network. The SFC is a nationwide, multi-actor network composed of several actors, interacting in the small fruit sector in Portugal. It focuses on the creation and exchange of knowledge, information and expertise in this new sector of Portuguese agriculture. The DSM is a spatially well-bound network, covering two NUTS 3 in the central-northern sub-region of Portugal. It is a hierarchical but informal network, led by a coordinating structure (Regional agency of the Ministry of Agriculture) which counts on the involvement of farmers and facilitators (FBOs and profit producer groups). The farmers are the main players in the cocreation of knowledge and active partners in the knowledge storage and exchange aims of this network. These networks were studied in-depth, resorting to an exploratory-descriptive and participatory approach which consisted of identifying, mapping and interviewing the relevant actors involved. In both cases, the typologies of actors were defined and Social Network Analysis (SNA) was used to depict and describe the social networks of each case study. In addition, relevant examples of knowledge flows within each network were described as well as mapped through sociograms generated by the software used to implement the SNA.
The present case study investigated a policy-induced agricultural innovation network in Brandenburg. It focussed on three major questions: 1) What are features of the network that enhanced farmers’ ability to innovate in cooperation with other actors?; 2) What influencing factors encouraged the farmers’ enrolment in the network?; 3) How did the network link to existing knowledge infrastructures and to advisory services? The questions were assessed in a single case study, based on interviews and an analysis of project documents combined with elements of a participatory network mapping and a number of background discussions with informants and experts. The network studied was situated in Brandenburg and involved scientists, farmers, associations and a public authority. It was set up in the context of a project, funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research, and focussed on developing innovative strategies for climate change adaption. In particular, the project and network studied aimed to test and evaluate crop seed varieties under different climate conditions. The planned activities were carried out timeously, and the project can be considered successful in terms of realization of the previously scheduled activities and goals.
This report explores the role of rural networks in enhancing innovation processes, questioning the features of the agricultural/rural networks could enhance farmers’ ability to co-innovate in cooperation with other actors. The prospect of this investigation is also to provide interesting and significant experiences that constitute examples for the ‘European Innovation Partnership’ by increasing farmers’ capacities to create, test, implement and evaluate innovations in cooperation with other rural actors. To this end, this report focusses on the emerging rural innovation network in the so-called Land of Fires, an area between Caserta and Naples provinces in the Campania region (Southern Italy), known for the socio-economic and environmental impacts of more than two decades of waste crisis. The network involves cooperatives that work on land confiscated from the Mafia. It includes environmental activists, associations, public and private actors (citizens and companies) fighting against dispossession and contamination of territories, and against Mafia culture.
The privatization of agricultural research and extension establishments worldwide has led to the development of a market for services designed to support agricultural innovation. However, due to market and systemic failures, both supply side and demand side parties in this market have experienced constraints in effecting transactions and establishing the necessary relationships to engage in demand-driven innovation processes. To mitigate these constraints, a field of intermediary organizations has emerged to assist agricultural entrepreneurs to articulate demand, forge linkages with those that can provide innovation support services, and manage innovation processes. This article aims to give an overview of the different kinds of the so-called innovation intermediaries that have emerged in The Netherlands and to report on their contributions and the tensions that are being experienced with regard to their functioning. The article concludes with a discussion in which it is argued that the state should play a role as a ‘market facilitator’, by funding such innovation intermediaries.
Although innovation is understood to encompass much more than R&D, science continues to be an essential ingredient. In particular translation, adaptation and ‘valorisation’ of research results, the responsiveness of research to users’ needs and improved access to results are all regarded as important in achieving a more sustainable European agriculture. These challenges can be addressed in a number of ways including increased collaboration, networking, transdisciplinary research and co-operation between researchers and practitioners. From a theoretical and practical perspective such approaches often involve inserting elements of co-innovation into the traditional science-driven model. Whilst a number of studies have examined the processes entailed in co-innovation, such as co-reflection, learning, reflexivity, and co-creation of knowledge, less attention has been paid to integrating co-innovation processes into the translation of existing scientific research outputs. This paper examines this topic within VALERIE, a project using an iterative stakeholder-driven methodology to create an effective retrieval facility for science-driven research outputs. Specifically the paper aims to understand the interplay between users’ identification and articulation of research needs and providers’ matching of these needs. The evolving methodology provides useful insights into the process of, and highlights some challenges associated with, integrating co-learning and research outreach.
The paper was presented at the 12th European IFSA Symposium (Workshop:"Boosting research outputs: novel approaches for integrating research translation with interactive co-innovation") in 2016.
More than 25 years after the first implementation of Farmer Field Schools (FFS), there is a rich corpus of evidence that participation in FFS improves farmers’ knowledge, skills, and competencies. On the other hand, several studies converge to show that FFS, by strengthening group action, have the potential to build-up social capital among participants and, thereafter, within local communities. However, it is not yet clear if this social capital is reflected in the levels of knowledge gained by FFS participants and to what extent it promotes farmers’ participatory engagement in the process of innovation development. To answer these questions the authors used between and within-subjects approaches. Data were drawn from facilitators and cotton farmers who participated in an FFS project aimed at the development of competencies in three domains: integrated crop management, farm management, and occupational safety. In a first step they developed three measures to assess the levels of social capital among farmers, the degree to which each participant contributed to the co-production of innovations within the framework of the project, and the knowledge gained by farmers. Regression analyses confirmed that the levels of social capital – and especially bonding social capital – do indeed predict both the co-production of innovations by farmers, and the levels of knowledge they gain through their participation in FFS. These findings indicate that cultivating social capital among FFS participants is a key element in facilitating the construction of knowledge and the coevolution of agricultural innovations by farmers, two of the core foci of FFS approach.
The paper was presented during the 12th European IFSA Symposium (Workshop: "Generating spaces for innovation in agricultural and rural development") in 2016.
In this paper, presented at the 12th European IFSA Symposium (Workshop: "Generating spaces for innovation in agricultural and rural development") in 2016, the authors assess the integration of new entrants to small-scale farming into agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS), in four study sites located on Europe’s periphery (Bulgaria, Poland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom). Utilising qualitative case studies undertaken in 2013, they assessed the knowledge acquired to inform three new activities being undertaken by study participants: agricultural production; subsidy access and regulatory compliance; and farm diversification (specifically agritourism).
Multi-actors networks are increasingly used by farmers to link between them and to be interactively connected with other partners, such as advisory organizations, local governments, universities, and non-farm organizations. Given the importance assigned to the agricultural innovation by EU resorting to the networking between the research chain actors and the farmers, a strong focus on enhancing the creation of learning and innovation networks is expected. In this context is relevant to have information about the features of such networks enhance farmers’ ability to learn and to innovate in cooperation with other actors. This paper was presented at the the 12th European IFSA Symposium (Workshop: "Generating spaces for innovation in agricultural and rural development") in 2016 and its aim is to contribute to the understanding of which are the features of agricultural or rural networks showing determinant to enhance the farmers' ability to learn and to innovate in cooperation with other actors, namely by identifying the influencing factors encouraging the farmers’ enrolment and the influence of network stability. The additional goal of the paper is to provide insights on the way these networks link to R&D infrastructures and advisory services. Five case studies were conducted in Italy, Germany, Portugal, and UK comprising heterogeneous networks.
The European Innovation Partnership for agricultural productivity and sustainability (EIP-AGRI), which can be perceived as a platform based on interaction among farmers, researchers, and advisors/extensionists, represents a useful tool for a better understanding of applied innovation processes. Grounded in the activities performed within the EU Project Agrispin, in this paper presented at the 12th European IFSA Symposium (Workshop: "Generating spaces for innovation in agricultural and rural development") in 2016, the authors attempt to contribute to the identification of effective and efficient approaches for the implementation of the EIP-AGRI strategy. Specifically, they present some preliminary findings on the functioning of EIP-AGRI system and Operational Groups across five European regions and countries (Italy, Poland, Germany, The Netherlands, and Belgium), by comparing different implementation modalities of the EIP strategies. With this analysis, the aim is to portray the practical implications for agricultural innovation support systems. In addition, the authors interpret the role and the actions undertaken by public authorities in supporting such innovation systems in their regional contexts. Finally, they try to explain the enabling dynamics behind institutional uptake of these innovations into the local public support systems, by addressing the issue of “institutional change” at both regional and local levels.
This paper, presented at the 12th European IFSA Symposium (Workshop: "Generating spaces for innovation in agricultural and rural development") in 2016, aims to summarise the main features of the AgriSpin project. The project is being financed by the Horizon 2020 research program of the European Commission aiming at contributing to system-oriented innovation research in agriculture and as complementary to the policy instrument EIP AGRI. The idea behind EIP AGRI is that innovation emerges from interaction between stakeholders. Following this idea, the focus of attention shifts from diffusion of innovations to ways for creating space in which interaction might lead to innovation as a co-creative process. The AgriSpin project (“Space for Innovations in Agriculture”) comprises 15 organisations in 12 EU countries cooperating for a period of 2½ years (March 2015 – October 2017) to address questions pertaining advisory work in relation to the stimulation of innovations at farm level. This paper aims to describe the main features of the project focusing on its conceptual background and methodological challenges while also pointing to some remarkable results (pearls and puzzles) that can be observed so far.
This paper, presented at the 8th European IFSA Symposium ( Workshop 6: "Change in knowledge systems and extension services: Role of the new actors") in 2008, discusses the innovation network Waardewerken, a Dutch network of rural entrepreneurs pioneering in multifunctional agriculture. which aims to contribute to a professional multifunctional agriculture sector in the Netherlands. For this purpose it cooperates with researchers and policymakers in order to improve policy conditions and to develop knowledge for multifunctional farmers. In 2007 the achievements during the first four years of this network were evaluated. The Most Significant Change method was used to identify the results of the network. The evaluation showed that the network has had an important role in creating acknowledgement of multifunctional agriculture as a sustainable business strategy among policy makers and other stakeholders. The members of the network are capable to inspire people with their practical and innovative stories about multifunctional agriculture.
African agriculture is currently at a crossroads, at which persistent food shortages are compounded by threats from climate change. But, as this book argues, Africa can feed itself in a generation and help contribute to global food security. To achieve this Africa has to define agriculture as a force in economic growth by: advancing scientific and technological research; investing in infrastructure; fostering higher technical training; and creating regional markets. To govern the transformation Africa must foster the emergence of a new crop of entrepreneurial leaders dedicated to the continent's economic improvement. The book is divided into seven chapters. Chapter 1 examines the critical linkages between agriculture and economic growth. Chapter 2 reviews the implications of advances in science
and technology for Africa’s agriculture. Chapter 3 provides a conceptual framework for defining agricultural innovation in a systemic context. Chapter 4 outlines the critical linkages between infrastructure and agricultural innovation. The role of education in fostering agricultural innovation is the subject of Chapter 5. Chapter 6 presents the importance of entrepreneurship in agricultural innovation. The final chapter outlines regional approaches for fostering agricultural innovation.
LenCD has prepared a joint statement on results and capacity development (presented in this publication), which stresses that meaningful, sustainable results are premised on proper investments in capacity development and that these results materialize at different levels and at different times, along countries’ development trajectory. To provide evidence in support of this statement, LenCD launched a call for submission of stories. The 15 stories featured in this publication have been selected by a fourmember review panel, through a rigorous appraisal process of over 40 stories, received as a response to the LenCD call. The stories have been contributed by different countries and development partners and cover 14 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Latin America. The stories showcase how endogenous investments in capacity development have led, over time, to produce short, medium and long-term sustainable results.
The study examines whether the goal of food security for the population of Sverdlovskaya oblast, one of the mostly industrial northern region in Russia, aiming agricultural productivity improvement and rural poverty reduction, could be achieved by the regional authorities within post-soviet type of agricultural policy. Results show that, the current trends of agricultural production and rural social development in Sverdlovskaya oblast are degrading. To reach the goal of regional food security and to change declining trends in production it is necessary to ensure the priority of social goals over economic development, because providing higher standards of rural livelihoods will inevitably lead to the sustainable development of agricultural production. The study aims to determine the conceptual foundations of the transition of rural localities of industrial region of Russia towards sustainable development through the creation of decent living conditions and activities of the rural population in quality food production. Particular attention is focused on the mechanism of interaction and coordination among federal and regional governments, local governments and commercial organizations engaged in its food production activities in the rural areas. On the basis of theoretical propositions is the conceptual model of innovative development of rural areas in an industrial region, namely Sverdlovskaya oblast of Russia, aiming quality food production for the population of region is presented.
Historically, farmers have been some of the most innovative people in the world. However, agriculture lags behind other sectors in its uptake of new information technologies for the control and automation of farming systems. In spite of decades of research into innovation, generally we still do not have a good understanding as to why this is the case. This paper reviews two theories of innovation and offers a new approach to thinking about agricultural ICT (e-Agriculture). It firstly explores the problem of ICT adoption in agriculture. It also proposes new dimensions of a theory of e-Agriculture adoption and innovation. The paper thereby opens up an avenue of research for control and automation systems theory and practice, which informs policy in respect of e-readiness of farmers and the wider rural community both at a national level and an international level
his paper draws on the transition literature to examine niche-regime interaction. Specifically it aims to reveal and contribute to an understanding of the processes that link sustainable agriculture innovation networks to the agricultural regime. It analyses findings from participatory workshops with actors in 17 Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture (LINSA) across Europe. Framing linkage as an adaptive process, whereby regime actors and entities adapt to incorporate LINSA, and vice versa, reveals different patterns and processes of adaptation. Five adaptation modes are distinguished and described corresponding to different levels of adaptation between LINSA and the agricultural regime. Understanding adaptive linkage processes within and across these modes as reflexive, learning and networking processes enabled and facilitated by individuals and organisations provides more insights into linkage processes than a hierarchical approach. Analysis of results from 17 LINSA from a number of different contexts across Europe allows a broad empirical analysis and an overview of the interplay of processes contributing to the agricultural regime's adaptive capacity.
There are divergent views on what capacity development might mean in relation to agricultural biotechnology. The core of this debate is whether this should involve the development of human capital and research infrastructure, or whether it should encompass a wider range of activities which also include developing the capacity to use knowledge productively. This paper uses the innovation systems concept to shed light on this discussion, arguing that it is innovation capacity rather than science and technology capacity that has to be developed. It then presents six examples of different capacity development approaches. It concludes by suggesting that policy needs to take a multidimensional approach to capacity development in line with innovation systems perspective. But it also argues that policy needs to recognise the need to develop the capacity of diversity of innovation systems and that a key part of the capacity development task is to bring about the integration of these different systems at strategic points in time
In this paper the authors present the development of an analytical framework to study agricultural innovation systems. They divide the agricultural sector into four levels and expand the innovation system approach to study innovation processes. On the example of the role of farmers and extension services in agricultural innovation processes wthey demonstrate the adequateness of the approach and give detailed insight into the later stages of the innovation process, where barriers occur most in the German agricultural innovation system. The paper was presented at the 131st EAAE Seminar ‘Innovation for Agricultural Competitiveness and Sustainability of Rural Areas' (Prague, September 18-19, 2012).
Given the search for new solutions to better prepare cities for the future, in recent years, urban agriculture (UA) has gained in relevance. Within the context of UA, innovative organizational and technical approaches are generated and tested. They can be understood as novelties that begin a potential innovation process. This empirical study is based on 17 qualitative interviews in the U.S. (NYC; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago, IL, USA). The aim was to identify: (i) the most relevant areas of learning and innovation; (ii) the drivers of innovation; (iii) the applied novelties and their specific approach to overcoming the perceived obstacles; (iv) the intrinsic challenges that practitioners face in the innovation process; and (v) the novelties’ potential to contribute to sustainability and societal change. As the results of the study demonstrate, learning and innovation in UA occur predominantly in four areas, namely, “financing and funding”, “production, technology and infrastructure”, “markets and demands” and “social acceptance and cultural learning”. The described novelties include approaches to enhance the positive impacts of practicing agriculture within urban areas, and some of them have the potential to contribute to societal change and open up opportunities for social learning processes.
This presentation argues the need of green growth in agriculture, analyzes features of the innovation systems and ends with some policies practices. The presentation has been prepared for "Innovation and Modernising the Rural Economy", OECD’s 8th Rural Development Policy Conference, 3-5 October 2012 (Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation).
The purpose of this paper is to map some elements that can contribute to an IFAD strategy to stimulate and support pro-poor innovations. It is an initial or exploratory document that hopefully will add to an ongoing and necessary debate, and is not intended as a final position paper. The document is organized as follows. After the Introduction (Section 1), the Section 2 presents an outline of the innovation systems framework, adapted to the present discussion on rural development work such as that promoted by IFAD, in contrast to its more frequent use in the context of debates on science and technology. Section 3 discusses some important trends and changes in rural innovation systems, from the perspective of rural poverty reduction and rural development. Section 4 highlights some opportunities for pro-poor innovation, according to a framework that takes into consideration the heterogeneity of rural poverty. Section 5 concludes by asking a number of questions, with the expectation that they may contribute to a debate on what it is that IFAD can do to be more effective in promoting pro-poor rural innovation systems.
In the systems perspective on innovation, co-operation between several different types of actors is seen as key to successful innovation. Due to the existence of several gaps that hinder such effective co-operation, the scientific and policy literature persistently points at the need for intermediary organizations to fulfill bridging and brokerage roles. This paper aims to provide an overview of the insights from the literature on such ‘innovation brokers’, and to contribute to the literature by distilling lines of enquiry and providing insights on one of the lines identified. Taking as an empirical basis experiences with different types of innovation brokers that have emerged in the Dutch agricultural sector, it identifies a number of tensions with regard to the establishment and embedding of such organizations. The paper indicates that, despite being perceived to have a catalyzing effect on innovation, innovation brokers have difficulty in becoming embedded as their clients and/or financiers find it difficult to grasp the nature and value of their activities.
This paper contributes to the ongoing discussion in the scientific literature on the advantages and disadvantages of privatization of extension and advisory services and the shift from thinking in terms of the traditional Agricultural Knowledge System towards a broader Agricultural Innovation System. In particular, the authors investigate how the structural conditions of eight different European agricultural innovation systems can facilitate or hinder collaboration and social learning in multidisciplinary innovation networks.Regarding the methodology, the authors have adapted the Innovation System Failure Matrix to investigate the main barriers and enablers eight countries (England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands and Switzerland).
Innovations in the agri-food sector are needed to create a sustainable food supply. Sustainable food supply requires unexpectedly that densely populated regions remain food producers. A Dutch innovation program has aimed at showing the way forward through creating a number of practice and scientific projects. Generic lessons from the scientific projects in this program are likely to be of interest to agricultural innovation in other densely populated regions in the world. Based on the executed scientific projects, generic lessons across the whole innovation program are derived and presented in the article.
This paper offers a perspective on the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System. The first chapter gives an introduction to the subject and explains the role of SCAR and of the Strategic Working Group AKIS. The second chapter investigates the AKIS and their role in innovation, including the policy context of the European Innovation Partnership “Agricultural productivity and sustainability”. Chapter 3 discusses the relation in a globalised world between Agricultural Research (AR) and Agricultural Research for Development (ARD). This is followed by two chapters that focus on ICT-trends: chapter 4 discusses ICT in the food chain and its implications for research and innovation. It is followed by a chapter on E-science to see how ICT and “Big Data” could support the interactive innovation model. These trends are one of the inputs for a scenario analysis in chapter 6 on the future developments in AKIS. Chapter 7 focuses on policy recommendations for AKIS and especially on its advisory services. The report ends with recommendations for the SCAR (EU and Member States) and the AKIS stakeholders. This chapter also functions as a summary of the findings of the Strategic Working Group.
Agricultural knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS) are in transition in many countries from a linear, top-down approach towards more flexible and interactive arrangements. This transition to a system more responsive to changing demands seeks to improve the adoption of innovation in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the agri-food sector. This article focuses on the research and innovation components of the AKIS to analyse the main developments of recent years and their drivers. It concludes that the diversity of institutional arrangements and priorities is likely to persist as they are path dependent and respond to different socio-economic contexts. This article suggests how national governments could foster innovation in the agri-food sector by considering a whole range of policies and improving their coherence.
Innovation is high on the agenda, in view of the deep economic crisis and the challenges of feeding 9 billion people in 2050 in a more sustainable way. For an effective and efficient response the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (Akis) needs to innovate itself and adopt new ways of working. This paper is part of the conference proceedings of the 11th European IFSA Symposium 1- 4 April 2014 and reports on work carried out by the EU’s Scar to implement the European Union’s (EU) European Innovation Partnership (Eip) ‘Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability’ in relation to Horizon2020.
Contemporarily, agriculture is facing many challenges connected with growing food demand and scarcity of natural resources. In meeting these challenges innovation has become of crucial importance. The paper aims at providing an insight on the topic of the needs and possibilities of open innovation and its significance for the transition towards sustainable and more productive agriculture of EU. We argue that given the complexity of innovation process there emerges the need for effective interactions between all actors of agriculture sector. We conclude that new instrument of EU policy: European Innovation Partnership, which promotes open innovation approach should facilitate emergence of networks of collaboration in agriculture. Such an approach will stimulate innovation processes and will help to give better responses to contemporary challenges faced by agriculture.
The question of how agricultural research can best be used for developmental purposes is a topic of some debate in developmental circles. The idea that this is simply a question of better transfer of ideas from research to farmers has been largely discredited. Agricultural innovation is a process that takes a multitude of different forms, and, within this process, agricultural research and expertise are mobilised at different points in time for different purposes. This paper uses two key analytical principles in order to find how research is actually put into use. The first, which concerns the configurations of organisations and their relationships associated with innovation, reveals the additional set of resources and expertise that research needs to be married up to and sheds light on the sorts of arrangements that allow this marriage to take place. The second — which concerns understanding innovation as a path-dependent, contextually shaped trajectory unfolding over time — reveals the changing role of research during the course of events associated with the development and diffusion of products, services and institutional innovations. Using these analytical principles, this paper examines the efforts of the DFID-funded Research Into Use (RIU) programme that sought to explore the agricultural research-into-use question empirically. The paper then uses this analysis to derive implications for public policy and its ongoing efforts to add value to research investments.
This synthesis report presents the outputs of the workshop organised by CTA at its headquarters in Wageningen, The Netherlands, 15-17 July 2008. The outputs are presented in two main parts, each corresponding to one of the workshop objectives, and ends with a section on the way forward as suggested by the workshop participants. It also includes a first attempt to come to a consolidated generic framework on AIS performance indicators, based on the outputs of the different working groups. This is improved on the basis of feedback from workshop participants and their partners in ACP-countries and Europe during subsequent meetings and support for case studies on monitoring and evaluating contributions to innovation performance. The workshop involved 22 experts from 11 ACP countries, France and The Netherlands. CTA plans to organise follow-up workshops and support case studies to develop the process.
The Worldwide Extension Study provides empirical data on the human and financial resources of agricultural extension and advisory systems worldwide, as well as other important information on: the primary extension service providers in each country (e.g.: public, private and/or non-governmental); which types and groups of farmers are the primary target groups (e.g.: large, medium, and/or small-scale farmers, including rural women) for each extension organization; how each organization’s resources are allocated to key extension and advisory service functions; each organization’s information and communication technology resources and capacity; and what role, if any, different categories of farmers play in setting extension’s priorities and/or assessing performance.The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), working in collaboration with the University of Illinois (UIUC), FAO, and the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS), developed the Worldwide Extension Study database as part of the assessment of the status of agricultural extension and advisory services worldwide between 2009-2013.
This report elaborates on how to use the agricultural knowledge and innovation systems framework to promote innovation at different levels with special focus on European issues related to the implementation of Horizon 2020. It is of value as a conceptual and methodological reference regarding the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKIS).
Innovation in Vidzeme Planning Region is realized in the frame of National innovation system, the elements of which correspond to innovation and innovation system theories, and the best practices of which are applied in the most innovative countries of the world. Nevertheless, innovation in Vidzeme Planning Region is fragmented and is being introduced slowly, and its impact on economic development is faintly visible. It witnesses a problem, which was identified, analysed and its solutions searched by the authors. The aim of the paper is to research the potential of capacity building of innovation system elements in Vidzeme Planning Region. For the achievement of the objective the following tasks were carried out: 1) to analyse the most significant theories on innovation, innovation systems, and regional economic development; 2) to characterize and analyse the innovation system in Vidzeme Planning Region and capacity of innovation elements; 3) to work out the capacity building opportunities and directions of innovation elements of Vidzeme Planning Region. In scope of the research, the essence of innovation was identified, theoretical aspects of innovation system and its elements were examined; the elements of innovation system were defined; the existing elements of innovation system in Vidzeme Planning Region were identified, analysed and assessed; and proposed capacity building measures of the elements of innovation system were elaborated by the authors. The authors have concluded that Vidzeme Planning Region has the necessary elements of innovation system in place; the capacity of these elements is insufficient; and the preconditions and opportunities exist for increasing the capacity.
The paper is included in the Proceedings of the international conference “ECONOMIC SCIENCE FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT”. No. 31 Integrated and Sustainable Regional Development, pp.248-255.
In comparison with the other EU (27) countries Innovation capacity indicators in Latvia remain low and considerably underperform. Problems and solutions are illustrated to represent innovation capacity in Latvia. The article consists of the following parts: first - theoretical aspects are selected to describe the essential definition of the analyzed subject. In the second part, experience from abroad is described, at the end – Latvian innovation policy and situation is analyzed and suggestions for further needs are formulated. The main results of analysis show that only a few elements of innovation capacity building are functioning at Latvian enterprises, whose aim is to build a base for the innovation capacity of the country.