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Exchanging knowledge to improve organic arable farming: An evaluation of knowledge exchange tools with farmer groups across Europe

Bliss, Katie; Padel, Susanne; Cullen, Beth; Ducottet, Charline; Mullender, Samantha; Rasmussen, Ilse A. and Moeskops, Bram (2018) Exchanging knowledge to improve organic arable farming: An evaluation of knowledge exchange tools with farmer groups across Europe. Organic Agriculture, online, X.

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Limited to [Depositor and staff only] bis 30 November 2019.

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Online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs13165-018-0238-6

Summary

Organic farming is knowledge intensive. To support farmers in improve yields and organic agriculture systems, there is a need to improve how knowledge is shared. There is an established culture of sharing ideas, successes and failures in farming. The internet and information technologies open-up new opportunities for knowledge exchange involving farmers, researchers, advisors and other practitioners. The OK-Net Arable brought together practitioners from regional Farmer Innovation Groups across Europe in a multi-actor project to explore how online knowledge exchange could be improved. Feedback from the groups was obtained for 36 'tools', defined as end-user materials, such as technical guides, videos on websites informing about practices in organic agriculture. The groups also selected one practice to test on farms, sharing their experiences with others through workshops, exchange visits and through videos. Farmers valued the same key elements in face-to-face exchanges (workshops and visits) as in online materials. These were the opportunity for visual observation, deeper understanding of the context in which a practice was being tried and details about what worked and what did not work. Videos, decision support tools and social media can provide useful mechanisms for taking knowledge exchange online, if farmers’ experiences and practical implication are shared, and more visual information about the context, economics, successes and failures is provided. Online platforms and forums should not be expected to replace but rather to complement face to face knowledge exchange in improving organic farming.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Knowledge exchange, internet, peer-to-peer, video, technical guide, organic arable farming
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Soil tillage
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
Crop husbandry > Weed management
Research affiliation: Denmark > ICROFS - International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems
European Union > OK-Net Arable
International Organizations > International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM > IFOAM EU Group
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC) - Elm Farm
FP7 Grant Agreement Number:652654
ISSN:1879-4238
DOI:10.1007/s13165-018-0238-6
Related Links:http://www.ok-net-arable.eu/index.php
Deposited By: Padel, Dr Susanne
ID Code:32860
Deposited On:20 Nov 2018 10:28
Last Modified:19 Dec 2018 12:25
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:A previous version of this article formed part of the deliverable D 2.3 for the OK-Net Arable project.

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