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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).
The report synthesises the research conducted under the PRO AKIS project for the topic "Designing, implementing and maintaining agricultural/rural networks to enhance farmers’ ability to innovate in cooperation with other rural actors".
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.
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.