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How digitalisation interacts with ecologisation? Perspectives from actors of the French Agricultural Innovation System

Abstract : Two major agricultural transformations are currently being promoted worldwide: digitalisation and ecologisation, that include different practices such as organic farming and sustainable intensification. In literature and in societal debates, these two transformations are sometimes described as antagonistic and sometimes as convergent but are rarely studied together. Using an innovation system approach, this paper discusses how diverse ecologisation pathways grasp digitalisation in the French agricultural sector; and do not discriminate against organic farming. Based on interviews with key representatives of conventional agriculture, organic agriculture and organisations that promote or develop digital agriculture, we explore how these actors perceive and participate in digital development in agriculture. We show that although all the actors are interested and involved in digital development, behind this apparent convergence, organic and conventional actors perceive neither the same benefits nor the same risks and consequently do not implement the same innovation processes. We conclude that digitalisation has different meanings depending on the actors’ paradigm, but that digital actors fail to perceive these differences. This difference in perception should be taken into account if digital development is to benefit all kinds of agriculture and not discriminate against organic farming and more widely, against agroecology.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 11, 2021 - 3:55:56 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 10, 2021 - 10:09:22 AM

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Éléonore Schnebelin, Pierre Labarthe, Jean-Marc Touzard. How digitalisation interacts with ecologisation? Perspectives from actors of the French Agricultural Innovation System. Journal of Rural Studies, Elsevier, 2021, 86, pp.599-610. ⟨10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.07.023⟩. ⟨hal-03319092⟩

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