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UK farmers’ transition pathways towards agroecological farm redesign: evaluating explanatory models

Padel, Susanne; Levidow, Les and Pearce, Bruce (2019). UK farmers’ transition pathways towards agroecological farm redesign: evaluating explanatory models. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (Early Access).

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/21683565.2019.1631936
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Abstract

Although the organic conversion process has been much studied, farm-level transitions to agroecosystems are less well understood. What transition pathways do they take? How can (or does) farmers’ learning help to make such changes? What support measures can (or do) facilitate such learning? To answer such questions, a UK study identified farmers undergoing an agroecological transition and compared their practices with two prevalent models. As regards the Efficiency – Substitution – Redesign (ESR) model, our case-study farms had all three changes, but they were rarely sequential; agroecosystem redesign did not follow from Efficiency or Substitution measures, which readily provide endpoints rather than transitional stages. As regards the ‘trigger events’ model – Trigger, Active Assessment and Implementation – the three stages were often overlapping; triggers arose only when farmers’ interpreted difficulties or opportunities as grounds to implement changes, which they had generally considered beforehand. More fundamentally, case-study farmers were unlearning conventional expectations by undergoing cognitive and affective shifts. Together those two models (ESR and trigger events) can provide heuristic devices for identifying farmers’ agroecological trajectories in their diverse forms. Going further, better models of farmers’ learning and action will be necessary for facilitating agroecological transitions and guiding relevant support measures.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2019 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 2168-3573
Keywords: Agroecological transition; Efficiency - Substitution - Redesign (ESR) model; 'trigger events' model; active assessment; learning; organic farming
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Development
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 62197
SWORD Depositor: Jisc Publications-Router
Depositing User: Jisc Publications-Router
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2019 08:09
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2019 10:21
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/62197
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