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Journal Articles Agronomy for Sustainable Development Year : 2021

Analyzing barriers and levers for practice change: a new framework applied to vegetables’ soil pest management

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Abstract

Western agricultural practices for crop protection are still heavily dependent on pesticides, even though they cause major humanhealth and environmental hazards. In France, public incentives for pesticide reduction have failed to achieve their goal, andagroecological practices are still seldom implemented. In this study, we hypothesized that a systemic analysis of the determinantsof current farming practices could serve to characterize (i) the impediments to change in farming practices; (ii) the resourcessupporting the change; (iii) the underpinning sociotechnical processes; (iv) the stakeholders’involvement; and (v) levers tofacilitate agroecological transition. We therefore designed the first analytical framework that supports a systemic, multi-level(field, farm, territorial, and supra-territorial), multi-actor (including private actors and policymakers), and transformation-orientedanalysis of the determinants of farming practices. We applied this analytical framework to the management of root-knotnematodes in sheltered vegetable systems in south-eastern France, jointly analyzing conventional and organic systems. Weconducted this comprehensive analysis based on complementary data collection methods: interviews with stakeholders, analysisof written material, participant observation, and participatory workshops. We show that strongly interconnected determinants offarming practices fostered drastic soil disinfection and locked out agroecological soil health technology (e.g., product quality andeconomic constraints from marketing firms and from regulations; lack of knowledge; unavailability of agroecological inputs).However, this sociotechnical lock-in was being undermined by societal pressures and increasing actions of the stakeholders infavor of the agroecology paradigm. On the other hand, the conventionalization process of the organic regime was simultaneouslythreatening the further development of agroecological practices.Finally, this analysis revealed levers that could be used tosupport innovation design and enable changes in farming practices toward agroecology (e.g., facilitate access to agroecologicalinputs, develop multi-stakeholder platforms). The framework, successfully applied to the Provençal vegetable sector, could beused in other production and territorial contexts.
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Dates and versions

hal-03278938 , version 1 (02-08-2022)

Licence

Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Yann Boulestreau, Marion Casagrande, Mireille Navarrete. Analyzing barriers and levers for practice change: a new framework applied to vegetables’ soil pest management. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2021, 41 (3), ⟨10.1007/s13593-021-00700-4⟩. ⟨hal-03278938⟩
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