A facilitation method to foster collective action in transitions toward sustainable agriculture—a case study - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Agronomy for Sustainable Development Year : 2022

A facilitation method to foster collective action in transitions toward sustainable agriculture—a case study

Abstract

AbstractSupporting farmers in their change to more sustainable practices requires dealing with the singularity of their situations. Taking advantage of local pedoclimatic and socioeconomic potential to build adapted solutions challenges the way agricultural advice is provided. Recent research on transition management shows that this requires the inclusion of change in the individual experience of farmers and the support of peer groups. The question that arises is how to articulate these individual and collective dimensions. In particular, how to ensure the groups are relevant and durable by readjusting their purposes to match the progress of the transition experienced by the farmers on their farms? We created a 5-step approach based on the concepts of “pragmatic inquiry” and “community of practice” to (1) clarify changes on their farms with the farmers, (2) map the changes, (3) record their surprises, and question (4) their collective action and (5) organisation. Its originality is to enable the reorientation of individual projects to be matched with that of the collective actions promoted by the agro-ecological transition. We tested this approach in 5 1-day workshops with 5 farmer groups who breed their own maize. Qualitative analyses of the materials produced and the workshop discussions revealed (1) the changes implemented by the farmers and what they valued, (2) the transition and the major transformations underway, (3) the way in which a collective redefines itself in this changing environment, and (4) the singular identity of each collective. Sharing these results between groups led to (1) a shift in the farmer’s perception of maize from a symbol of intensive agriculture to an important element in the diversification of farming systems, and (2) the realisation that group facilitation should go beyond breeding techniques, be more systemic, and reflect on the renewal of collective action and group identity.
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Dates and versions

hal-03859758 , version 1 (21-12-2023)

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Laurent Hazard, Jonathan Locqueville, Frédéric Rey. A facilitation method to foster collective action in transitions toward sustainable agriculture—a case study. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2022, 42 (6), pp.106. ⟨10.1007/s13593-022-00838-9⟩. ⟨hal-03859758⟩

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