Exploring barriers to the agroecological transition in Nicaragua: A Technological Innovation Systems Approach

Katharina J.F. Schiller*, Laurens Klerkx, P.M. Poortvliet, Wendy Godek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Latin America has historically been a vanguard of agroecology. In Nicaragua, an agroecological transition is occurring, with three decades of building a groundswell based on the farmer-to-farmer movement and the recent institutionalization of agroecology in national law. Yet, problems remain with agroecology’s diffusion. We introduce the Technological Innovation Systems approach to examine systemic barriers to the agroecological transition and cycles of blockages caused by barriers’ interactions. Based on qualitative data from north-central Nicaragua, we find the main barriers hindering the agroecological transition include weak guidance of the search for agroecology, insufficient capacities and quantities of resources, and lacking market development. Beyond the Nicaragua case, the analysis points at the importance of using socio-technical systems analysis to better understand and address the root causes behind issues blocking national agroecological transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-132
JournalAgroecology and Sustainable Food Systems
Volume44
Issue number1
Early online date14 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Fingerprint

agroecology
Nicaragua
technical innovation
innovation
Innovation
Systems analysis
farmer
farmers
market development
systems analysis
Latin America
institutionalization
cause
Law
market
resource
interaction
resources

Keywords

  • agricultural innovation systems
  • agroecology
  • Latin America
  • socio-technical systems analysis
  • Sustainability transitions

Cite this

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title = "Exploring barriers to the agroecological transition in Nicaragua: A Technological Innovation Systems Approach",
abstract = "Latin America has historically been a vanguard of agroecology. In Nicaragua, an agroecological transition is occurring, with three decades of building a groundswell based on the farmer-to-farmer movement and the recent institutionalization of agroecology in national law. Yet, problems remain with agroecology’s diffusion. We introduce the Technological Innovation Systems approach to examine systemic barriers to the agroecological transition and cycles of blockages caused by barriers’ interactions. Based on qualitative data from north-central Nicaragua, we find the main barriers hindering the agroecological transition include weak guidance of the search for agroecology, insufficient capacities and quantities of resources, and lacking market development. Beyond the Nicaragua case, the analysis points at the importance of using socio-technical systems analysis to better understand and address the root causes behind issues blocking national agroecological transitions.",
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Exploring barriers to the agroecological transition in Nicaragua: A Technological Innovation Systems Approach. / Schiller, Katharina J.F.; Klerkx, Laurens; Poortvliet, P.M.; Godek, Wendy.

In: Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Vol. 44, No. 1, 01.2020, p. 88-132.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Klerkx, Laurens

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AB - Latin America has historically been a vanguard of agroecology. In Nicaragua, an agroecological transition is occurring, with three decades of building a groundswell based on the farmer-to-farmer movement and the recent institutionalization of agroecology in national law. Yet, problems remain with agroecology’s diffusion. We introduce the Technological Innovation Systems approach to examine systemic barriers to the agroecological transition and cycles of blockages caused by barriers’ interactions. Based on qualitative data from north-central Nicaragua, we find the main barriers hindering the agroecological transition include weak guidance of the search for agroecology, insufficient capacities and quantities of resources, and lacking market development. Beyond the Nicaragua case, the analysis points at the importance of using socio-technical systems analysis to better understand and address the root causes behind issues blocking national agroecological transitions.

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