Advancing agroecology through knowledge co-creation: Exploring success conditions to enhance the adoption of agroecological farming practices, illustrated by the case of Chilean wineries
Arredondo Rivera, M.C.
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Agroecology has been proposed as an alternative to conventional agriculture given that as it is based on ecological principles, it strengthens species interactions and generates synergies between ecosystem and agricultural systems. However, agroecological farming practices need to be adapted to farm and farmers’ contexts and needs. Knowledge co-creation processes provide an environment where scientific and experiential knowledges can dialogue and thus supports the development of practices tailored to a particular set of circumstances or contexts. These processes have been linked to adoption of agroecological farming practices. However, their success in terms of achieving such adoption is limited and there is a need to engage a higher number of farmers to participate in them. This Thesis aimed at exploring success conditions (SCs) in co-creation processes to enhance the adoption of agroecological farming practices, focusing on processes fostering scientist-farmer interactions. This study proposed three agroecology-relevant process outputs, namely, co-created knowledge meets credibility, salience and legitimacy criteria, development of social networks and capacity building which are theoretically expected to facilitate adoption of agroecological farming. Based on these outputs and by means of a literature review, this study selected and operationalized SCs in the co-creation process and in the context motivating farmers to participate in these. A conceptual framework of SCs was derived, including 17 SCs in the process and 11 in the context. This Thesis conducted a first test of the framework with the purpose of observing how the conditions manifest themselves in an empirical case and to further refine it. A case of co-creation between scientists and Chilean wineries was chosen for this purpose. Case analysis allowed a refinement of the framework and proved its usefulness for practitioners to analyze their previous co-creation projects and to design future ones. Further research could go into three directions. First, tailoring the framework and its operationalization to productive sectors different from wine production because, contexts and barriers faced by farmers and bigger scale producers are likely to differ between productive sectors. Second, development of detailed operationalization of SCs would allow a thorough assessment of the conditions, enhancing its usefulness for practitioners. Finally, the agroecology-relevant outputs and actual adoption of practices could be empirically tested to support the theoretical assumption central to this study.