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Analyzing barriers and levers for practice change: a new framework applied to vegetables’ soil pest management

Boulestreau, Yann; Casagrande, Marion and Navarrete, Mireille (2021) Analyzing barriers and levers for practice change: a new framework applied to vegetables’ soil pest management. Agronomy for Sustainable Development.

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Document available online at: https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03278938


Western agricultural practices for crop protection are still heavily dependent on pesticides, even though they cause major humanhealth and environmental hazards. In France, public incentives for pesticide reduction have failed to achieve their goal, andagroecological practices are still seldom implemented. In this study, we hypothesized that a systemic analysis of the determinantsof current farming practices could serve to characterize (i) the impediments to change in farming practices; (ii) the resourcessupporting the change; (iii) the underpinning sociotechnical processes; (iv) the stakeholders’involvement; and (v) levers tofacilitate agroecological transition. We therefore designed the first analytical framework that supports a systemic, multi-level(field, farm, territorial, and supra-territorial), multi-actor (including private actors and policymakers), and transformation-orientedanalysis of the determinants of farming practices. We applied this analytical framework to the management of root-knotnematodes in sheltered vegetable systems in south-eastern France, jointly analyzing conventional and organic systems. Weconducted this comprehensive analysis based on complementary data collection methods: interviews with stakeholders, analysisof written material, participant observation, and participatory workshops. We show that strongly interconnected determinants offarming practices fostered drastic soil disinfection and locked out agroecological soil health technology (e.g., product quality andeconomic constraints from marketing firms and from regulations; lack of knowledge; unavailability of agroecological inputs).However, this sociotechnical lock-in was being undermined by societal pressures and increasing actions of the stakeholders infavor of the agroecology paradigm. On the other hand, the conventionalization process of the organic regime was simultaneouslythreatening the further development of agroecological practices.Finally, this analysis revealed levers that could be used tosupport innovation design and enable changes in farming practices toward agroecology (e.g., facilitate access to agroecologicalinputs, develop multi-stakeholder platforms). The framework, successfully applied to the Provençal vegetable sector, could beused in other production and territorial contexts.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Crop protection (en), Soil health (en), Organic farming. (en), Sociotechnical system. (en), Sociotechnical analysis. (en), Value chain.Wicked problem (en), Meloidogynespp. (en), Vegetable production (en), Agroecology (en)
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Research affiliation: France > INRAe - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement
ISSN:ISSN: 1774-0746
Project ID:HAL-INRAe
Deposited By: PENVERN, Servane
ID Code:40298
Deposited On:12 Aug 2021 10:37
Last Modified:12 Aug 2021 10:37
Document Language:English

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