Title: Agricultural knowledge: linking farmers, advisors and researchers to boost innovation
Funding source: EU H2020 project, grant agreement no. 727577.
Total funding: EUR 4 999 966,49
Funding for BSC: EUR 371 237,50
Implementation period: 01.07.2017.-31.05.2021. (extension until 30.11.2021.)
Coordinator: National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE - l’institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement) (France)
Latvian partner: Baltic Studies Centre
AGRILINK is an international research project funded under the "Horizon 2020" Research and Innovation action (RIA) funding scheme. It is coordinated by the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) (France) with participation of 15 partner organisations from 13 countries in Europe.
AgriLink aims to stimulate sustainability transitions in European agriculture through better understanding the roles played by farm advice in farmer decision-making. To this end, AgriLink will analyse and improve the role of farmer advice in 8 innovation areas that combine challenges identified in the “Strategic Approach to EU Agricultural Research & Innovation”. AgriLink builds on the premise that the full range of advice-providing organisations need to be included in the assessment of service provision and innovation adoption.
The methodology combines theoretical insights with cutting edge research methods within a multi-actor, transdisciplinary approach. It draws on ‘micro-AKIS’ (individuals and organisations from whom farmers seek services and exchange knowledge with) analysis in 26 focus regions, sociotechnical scenario development and ‘living laboratories’ where farmers, advisors and researchers work together. Research in focus regions will provide insight in farmers’ micro-AKIS, advisory suppliers’ business models, and regional farm advisory systems. This will feed an assessment of the efficacy of governance of farm-advice-research interactions across Europe. Newly developed advisory methods and new forms of research-practice interaction will be validated and further developed in Living Laboratories. A socio-technical scenario method will be used to explore, jointly with stakeholders, transition pathways towards more sustainable agriculture.
Crucially, AgriLink builds on insights and experiences from both research and practice. The consortium consists of researchers from different disciplines (institutional economics, innovation studies, AKIS studies, sociology of networks), as well as of advisors (from public, private and farmer-based organisations) from across the EU. Actors from advisory services will be active in the validation and dissemination of results, to ensure that all project findings are both scientifically sound and practically useful.
The case studies carried out in Latvia focus on biological pest control in the Vidzeme region and direct marketing in the Pierīga region. The Living lab work is aimed at developing an online platform for promoting farmer and producer inteactions with advisors in the field of horticultre with a focus on processing.
For further information see:
- Project postcard.
- Project booklet.
- Project website.
- Blog by the monitor of the Living Lab in Latvia Emils Kilis.
- Theory primers developed by BSC researchers for the project's conceptual framework:
- Šūmane, S., Tisenkopfs, T. (2018) AgriLink's multi-level conceptual framework. Theory primer No. 15: Knowledge brokering, network learning, transition from 'advisor' to 'facilitator'.
- Kunda, I. (2018) AgriLink's multi-level conceptual framework. Theory primer No. 18: Learning and innovation networks for sustainable agriculture - LINSA.
- Adamsone-Fiskovica, A. (2018) AgriLink's multi-level conceptual framework. Theory primer No. 24: Science and technology studies
- Practice abstracts (PA) stemming from the AgriLink project are available here: https://ec.europa.eu/eip/agriculture/en/find-connect/projects/agrilink-agricultural-knowledge-linking-farmers. For PAs drafted by BSC in both English and Latvian please see:
- PA4: Building platforms for improved advisor-practitioner communication: the Latvian living lab
- PA10: Types of knowledge and their role in providing agricultural advice
- PA13: Knowledge brokering: facilitating innovation and joint learning
- PA14: LINSA: Alternative pathways to sustainable agriculture
- PA19: Looking into farmers' knowledge and use of biological plant protection in Latvia
- PA20: Advisory challenges in the field of biological pest control
- PA30: Guided co-creation – the importance of visual representations in letting creativity unfold
- PA32: The role of formal and informal advice in farmers’ direct marketing in Latvia, Pieriga region
- PA79: Agricultural advice: addressing the challenges of going online
National case study report on Latvia: Kilis, E., Tisenkopfs,T., Adamsone-Fiskovica, A.,Šūmane, S., Grivins, M. 2019. The role of advisory services in farmers’ decision making for innovation uptake. Insights from case studies in Latvia. Deliverable 2.2: Synthesis Country Report.
National report on the EU-FAS: Kilis, E. 2020. Review of the implementation of EU-FAS policy in Member States of EU- Latvia. AgriLink project report.
Factsheet: Regional policies impacting the Advisory Regime in Latvia: https://www.agrilink2020.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/latvia.pdf
Academic publications co-authored by BSC researchers:
- Kilis, E., Adamsone-Fiskovica, A., Šūmane, S., Tisenkopfs, T. 2021. (Dis)continuity and advisory challenges in farmer-led retro-innovation: biological pest control and direct marketing in Latvia. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension 28 (5): 653-670.
Labarthe, P., Sutherland, L-A., Laurent, C., Nguyen, G., Tisenkopfs, T., Triboulet, P., Bechtet, N., Bulten, E., Elzen, B., Madureira, L., Noble, C., Prazan, J., Townsend, L., Zarokosta, E., Prager, K., Redman, M. 2022. Who are Advisory Services Leaving Out? A Critical Reflection on ‘Hard to Reach’ Farmers. EuroChoices 21 (1): 50-55. https://doi.org/10.1111/1746-692X.12347
Potters, J., Collins, K., Schoorlemeer, H., Stræte, E. P., Kilis, E., Lane, A., Leloup, H. 2022. Living Labs as an Approach to Strengthen Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems. EuroChoices 21 (1): 23-29. https://doi.org/10.1111/1746-692X.12342
- Sutherland, L.-A., Adamsone-Fiskovica, A., Elzen, B., Koutsouris, A., Laurent, C., Stræte, E. P., Labarthe, P. 2023. Advancing AKIS with assemblage thinking. Journal of Rural Studies 97: 57-69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2022.11.005