Matt Reed Knowledge Exchange - Sustainable Intensification
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Matt Reed Knowledge Exchange - Sustainable Intensification

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Knowledge exchange, farm dynamics

Knowledge exchange, farm dynamics
and the need for new policy approaches:
a review of recent applied research in England.

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  • That in discussions of Sustainable Intensification need to acknowledge the importance of place – specifics of natures but also of culture and society, that knowledge needs to be embedded in that to be effective. We have observed emerging networks of generating new knowledge about agriculture emerging through the self-organizing and directing initiatives of farmers, This has re-enforced findings from earlier studies of the knowledge practices and behaviours of farmers, the resilience and adaptability of farm businesses, the importance of families and the social basis of the generation of knowledge not just its adoption. Awareness that many of the statistical models and official reports of farmer behaviour do not capture this complexity.
  • Coming from OFO383 – Footprinting of farms – went beyond the sampling frame provided by Defra – farms more diversified, pluriactive than most official statistics suggest – innovation not driven by the state or engagement with academic researchers but by requirements of supply chains. Working hard at questions about sustainability of their farms and businesses – using internet, Organic farmers (a minority) being amongst the most innovative and also influential – positioned themselves as gatekeepers and communicators not only within organic farming but beyond that sector. Not necessarily sharing this knowledge beyond those in the group but this is very directly relevant to their farms and businesses pushing towards greater sustainability. Paradox of deep interest in, and it would seem success in increasingly sustainability but held outside of the public realm.
  • Continued salience of the family farm in understanding farming businesses and how this means that in many ways the farm is managed by a collective, the assumptions about economic maximization, or indeed positioning within farm types not necessarily about productivity or profit but the importance of familial goals. SI would need to be couched within this.

Matt Reed Knowledge Exchange - Sustainable Intensification Matt Reed Knowledge Exchange - Sustainable Intensification Presentation Transcript

  • Knowledge exchange, farm dynamics and the need for new policy approaches: a review of recent applied research in England. Janet Dwyer, Jane Mills, Julie Ingram, Matt Reed*, Chris Short,
  • Outline • Knowledge - emerging networks of innovation • Continued importance of family in farming • Impact of diversification and pluriactivity on social networks • Conceptualization of the farm family business
  • Footprinting Farms - Networks of co-creation & situated knowledge • Beyond the state and academy • State systems of data collection • Organic Farmers experimenting: • Robots & grazing groups • Privatized knowledge generation
  • Persistence of family farming • Motivation for participation in AES • Continuing importance of understanding family farm pathways (multiple & dynamic) • Need to understand ‘farmer’ decision making as dynamic - not static • Over-arching importance of multi- generational continuity
  • Diversification & pluriactivity • Most (English) farms engaged in off-farm employment or businesses. • Flows of information into the business • Land managers and business owners • Deployment of, and ‘rent’ from, assets - money, status, property • Resilience and compliance with policy measures
  • • Recognize the resilience & dynamics of family farm businesses - diversification and pluriactivity • Building policies with farmers not the static and/or statistical model of ‘farmers’ - importance of part time and small farms • Understanding the networks in which farm level knowledge generated • Working with these networks – in open, rigorous ways. Policy Suggestions
  • The CCRI • www.ccri.ac.uk • mreed@glos.ac.uk • Ingram et al. (2013) Incorporating agri- environment schemes into farm development pathways:A temporal analysis of farmer motivations. Land Use Policy 31
  • Diversification and pluriactivity • FBS survey 55,000 farms in England, or 50% of farms - rest too small (<1/2 SLR) • Those small farms 9% of land, but 4% of agricultural production • 28% of farms (in survey) have a diversification and 39% of businesses with diversification it accounts for +25% of income • Off-farm employment - all farms 37% (small farms 41% - very large 28%)