In March we had the kick-off meeting of the EU-funded research project SOLINSA: Support of Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture. The website has been launched recently and provides information on the project and will publish reports of findings. At the front page of the website can find a link a flyer on the SOLINSA project.
Agriculture is in transition. Among others agriculture respond to market developments, policy reforms, consumers and societal concerns and more generally sustainability issues, but in various ways. From a rather one-sided production perspective , agriculture has become many-sided or even versatile. This has in turn has implication for Agricultural Knowledge System (AKS), i.e. the formal education, research and advice directed to agriculture and its development and is reflected in the different tasks and roles AKS can and is asked to fulfill in the support of learning and innovation practiced in often less formalised networks (i.e. the LINSA’s). AKS is in transition too, with regard to the need of building versatile expertise as well in how its is formally organised and funded (private, public or mixed funding). This is core of what will be studied in SOLINSA: how AKS can support more effectively and efficiently learning and innovation networks for sustainable agriculture. For this purpose two Learning and Innovation Networks for Sustainable Agriculture (i.e. LINSA) of various kinds in the eight participating countries will be studied in depth. In the Netherlands for example the network of sustainable dairy farmers (www.duurzaamboerblijven.nl).
The Rural Sociology Group (RSO) and Communication and Innovation Studies (CIS) of Wageningen University jointly participate as a partner in SOLINSA. For information you can contact either Laurens.Klerkx@wur.nl (CIS), Frans.Hermans@wur.nl (CIS) or Dirk.Roep@wur.nl (RSO).