Creating shared value(s) from On-Farm Experimentation: ten key lessons learned from the development of the SoYield® digital solution in Africa - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Agronomy for Sustainable Development Year : 2023

Creating shared value(s) from On-Farm Experimentation: ten key lessons learned from the development of the SoYield® digital solution in Africa

Abstract

This study is based on the observation that many digital tools and services for agriculture do not put farmers’ expectations and interests first, resulting in top-down research and development. On-Farm Experimentation (OFE) contributes to overcoming these limitations because it places farmers at the center of innovation processes, while ensuring rich interactions with various value chain actors. The richness of OFE is in part explained by the diversity of stakeholders involved and the co-learning that results from their interactions. Studies in management and social sciences show that such open innovation processes can be difficult to manage. Aligning the visions and interests of the different stakeholders, fostering the sharing of resources and knowledge to produce value, and sharing the value created in an equitable manner remain a real challenge. Although these issues can refine the understanding of the mechanisms that condition the success of OFE, they have yet to be sufficiently analyzed. Recent publications underline the need to explore the organizational and managerial aspects of OFE to facilitate its implementation in various contexts. This work proposes to fill this gap by providing ten key lessons for conducting OFE with the aim of creating shared value, i.e., developing innovative technologies and practices that benefit all parties but, first and foremost, farmers. These ten key lessons stem from the reflexive monitoring of an OFE process aimed at developing the SoYield® decision support system for helping mango value chain actors to estimate fruit production in Africa. This reflexive monitoring was conducted by the main actors involved in this process, namely, farmers, a private firm and research centers. These key lessons lay the foundations for strengthening a community of practice on OFE implementation and for facilitating its development worldwide. This study also provides insights into the contributions and limitations of digital tools for conducting OFE.
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Dates and versions

hal-04125329 , version 1 (06-05-2024)

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Chloé Alexandre, Léa Tresch, Julien Sarron, Jéremy Lavarenne, Gaspard Bringer, et al.. Creating shared value(s) from On-Farm Experimentation: ten key lessons learned from the development of the SoYield® digital solution in Africa. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2023, 43 (3), pp.38. ⟨10.1007/s13593-023-00888-7⟩. ⟨hal-04125329⟩
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