The berry networks in Portugal

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Madureira, L.
Ferreira, D.
Pires, M.

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.

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