Stimulating transitions towards sustainable farming systems

B. Elzen, M. Barbier, M. Cerf, J. Grin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    65 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    How can the dynamics of the agro-food sector in the long run be addressed? We argue that sustainable agro-food systems cannot be developed through a simple improvement of existing systems, but will require a transition. Therefore, we focus on how transitions to sustainability could be initiated and supported, taking into account renewal initiatives at the farm level, organised projects, heterogeneous actors and differing interests. We argue that a transition will have to come from a range of novelties that initially have various misfits with an existing regime. To tackle these misfits will require a learning process that needs to be of a ‘reflexive’ nature which implies that various taken for granted characteristics of the regime and beliefs of stakeholders can be questioned. Another critical issue is that this learning not only takes place in a protected environment (or niche) but that new links with the existing regime need to be created. Only then can learning about novelties start a transformation process in the regime that may eventually lead to a transition.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFarming Systems Research into the 21st Century: The New Dynamic
    EditorsI. Darnhofer, D. Gibbon, B. Dedieu
    Place of PublicationDordrecht
    PublisherSpringer Science + Business Media
    Pages431-455
    ISBN (Print)9789400745025
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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