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Title: The potential of digital platforms to facilitate the diffusion of diversification strategies in agriculture
Authors : Schmitt, Emilia
Schwab, Seraina
Vukotic, Fabienne
Jaisli, Isabel
Proceedings: 13th European IFSA Symposium
Conference details: 13th European IFSA Symposium, Chania, Greece, 1-5 July 2018
Editors of the parent work: Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania
Publisher / Ed. Institution : IFSA
Issue Date: 2018
License (according to publishing contract) : Not specified
Type of review: Peer review (Publication)
Language : English
Subjects : Diversification; Innovation; Niche; Multi-stakeholder platform
Subject (DDC) : 630: Agriculture
Abstract: The agricultural landscape of Switzerland is dominated by industrialized but struggling milk production. Producers are facing ever-falling prices, environmental changes and increasing requirements for state supports. Facing these challenges, some farmers have developed their own products for niche markets, adopted rare or ancient breeds or demonstrated the capacity to adopt income-generating innovations. The diversification of agricultural production on farms and within whole regional landscapes has further advantages than just income diversification. It offers adaptation and buffer capacity in case of economic crisis or environmental changes and it makes the agro-ecosystem more resistant to pests and diseases and distributes risks. However, the majority of farms still encounters barriers in changing crops and diversifying. Interviews with producers in this study revealed that the main challenges are the lack of technical information about rare crops and breeds, the need to identify adapted crops and equipment to the location and the personal motivations that require an entrepreunarial or risk-taker personality. Information technologies and particularly new tools in the area of social networking could play an important role in increasing access to information and connections between peers, even internationally, and deserve more attention in the transition to sustainable agriculture. Interviews with market actors revealed multiple potentials for niche products, but also the need for increased availability of market information to producers. Social media are also starting to be used for this purpose. This study thus looked into the potential of multi-stakeholder online platforms and the role of key actors for the diffusion of innovation and niche products in agriculture and identified current limitations where efforts could be put to increase support to diversifying producers.
Departement: Life Sciences and Facility Management
Organisational Unit: Institute of Natural Resource Sciences (IUNR)
Publication type: Conference Paper
DOI : 10.21256/zhaw-3875
Published as part of the ZHAW project : AgroInnoTool
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Life Sciences und Facility Management

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