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Agroecological transition: the work of farmers, advisers, teachers and researchers in question

Abstract : The French Ministry of Agriculture has called for an agroecological transition that reconciles farming and environment-friendly approaches. This is perceived as an injunction to change, deemed too minimalist by advocates of agroecology and too supportive of environmental concerns by advocates of conventional and industrial farming. Despite a degree of self-prescription, farmers are not the only ones defining the content, the organization and the aim of their work: agricultural training, agricultural development, discussions between peers, research, and regulations all contribute to its definition. Drawing on available research, we study the transformations of the work of farmers and of AKIS actors at play during the agroecological transition. Our argument revolves around the importance, in the agroecological transition, of taking into account: (i) local particularities (situated ecological processes, micro-climates, etc.) and farmers’ singularities (relations to nature), including how AKIS actors’ forms of organization and intervention are challenged by these particularities; (ii) the role of AKIS actors in supporting the agroecological transition: how can farmers’ own discovery of their natural and technical environment from new perspectives be facilitated? AKIS actors can be instrumental in this respect; their interventions then become part of the flow of the farmer’s activities; (iii) transformations of work, in various respects relating to systemic representations of the activity: the “doing”, the knowledge applied, and the values and norms to which subjects refer are changed; and (iv) the production of agronomic knowledge and the ways in which it is disseminated are challenged. The prescriptive relationship of science and development towards farmers is likewise challenged. This review raises many questions which we put on the research agenda: does the agroecological transition contribute to reorienting the development of farmers’ activity? Is the agroecological transition conducive to the development of sustainable farm work? What transformations of AKIS actors’ work are needed to better support the agroecological transition?
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01929017
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 6:44:33 AM
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  • HAL Id : hal-01929017, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 427775

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Marianne Cerf, Xavier Coquil, Caroline Auricoste, Alexandre Joannon, Flore Barcellini, et al.. Agroecological transition: the work of farmers, advisers, teachers and researchers in question. International Symposium for Work in Agriculture, International Association on Work in Agriculture., Nov 2016, Maringa, Brazil. 12 p. ⟨hal-01929017⟩

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