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Sustainable organic vegetable systems network

{Project} Sustainable organic vegetable systems network. Runs 2003 - 2006. Project Leader(s): Unspecified, Henry Doubleday Research Association .

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Document available online at: http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicveg/research/show_project.php?id=1


To identify the agronomic, economic and management factors that contribute to sustainable vegetable production systems
This project was conceived in response for the need to increase self sufficiency in the UK organic vegetable market. At present 43 % of organic vegetables are imported and there is the scope to increase the UK supply to the levels found in the conventional sector which in 2000 was 71% for vegetables. To achieve this growers need increasing levels of technical knowledge and information to be able to improve efficiency of production and quality and consistency of produce. A wide range of variation in performance between farms have been identified in other projects and the reasons behind this need to be explored more fully. The project will work closely with a group of vegetable growers and seeks to advance knowledge on production systems.
The project adopts a participatory approach where the growers are involved in the process of identifying the areas of focus for research. The key factors which contribute towards sustainable organic vegetable systems are identified by monitoring eleven organic vegetable growers for three growing seasons. Monitoring takes place by collecting farm records, interviews and crop walks to provide a snapshot of the growing season.
Monitoring innovation is an integral part of the project. Areas of innovation are identified through interview and farmers’ meetings to determine practices to trial on-farm, processes to monitor and areas where information can be provided through fact sheets and focus groups.
Dissemination is carried out by HDRA using a range of approaches: results are incorporated into the organic farm management handbook which is used by OAS advisors and growers. Information is disseminated at open days held in conjunction with the Soil Association, publications in farm journals and an interactive website that is updated regularly.
The work is carried out as a collaborative project between HDRA, HRI Warwick, OAS at EFRC. HDRA is leading the project and the other institutes are involved as subcontractors or on a consultancy basis. OAS provides ongoing advice on current ‘best practice’ on a consultancy basis through two half day visits to each farm per year for the duration of the project.

EPrint Type:Project description
Type of Facility:Other
Keywords:vegetables, participatory research, knowledge transfer, farm management, agronomy, economics,
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Research affiliation: UK > Garden Organic (HDRA)
UK > Univ. Warwick, HRI
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC)
Research funders: UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Related Links:http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/Project_Data/More.asp?I=OF0340
Project ID:OF0340
Start Date:1 June 2003
End Date:31 May 2006
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:6781
Deposited On:27 Mar 2006
Last Modified:13 Feb 2013 09:39
Document Language:English

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