Building knowledge systems for sustainable agriculture: supporting private advisors to adequately address sustainable farm management in regular service contacts

L.W.A. Klerkx, J. Jansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Advisory service provisioning on sustainability issues such as environmental care and food safety is considered suboptimal in privatized extension systems, which comprise a diverse set of private advisors. Apart from funding dedicated ‘public good’ projects, government also relies on these advisors to address sustainability issues in their regular service contacts with farmers. Policy measures have hence been proposed to stimulate farmer demand for such sustainable farm management (SFM) advice (pull measures) and to build capacity among advisors (push measures). This paper assesses two interventions, in nutrient management and mastitis prevention, that integrate pull measures (awareness building and economic incentives) and push measures (promoting facilitative advisory styles and optimizing knowledge system linkages) to stimulate advisory service provisioning on SFM. Results indicate that effectiveness appears to depend on an adequate mix of, and balance between, push and pull measures. Awareness building is a prerequisite to creating demand for such services and appears more important than economic incentives. However, awareness is not built by the interventions alone; indeed, a lack of awareness may not be the main problem: the broader institutional context may not be conducive to a proactive approach to addressing SFM if regulatory frameworks are unclear and inconsistent. The main conclusion is that, despite interventions having an impact, it is uncertain whether the demand for, and supply of, SFM advice will be sustained after interventions are withdrawn
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-163
JournalInternational Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • environmental protection
  • food safety
  • mastitis
  • sustainability
  • policy
  • nutrient management
  • dairy farmers
  • health management
  • soil-management
  • udder health
  • england
  • communication
  • prevention
  • challenge
  • context

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