Farmers’ use of fundamental knowledge to re-design their croppingsystems: situated contextualisation processesReport as inadecuate

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1 Agronomie 2 Institut de l-Elevage 3 Agro-Transfert Ressources et Territoires 4 LISIS - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences, Innovations, Société

Abstract : When they re-design their cropping systems to move towards agroecology, farmers implement practices that involve biological processes. Such practices have been qualified as knowledge-intensive, as they involve the renewal of agronomic principles and numerous interactions between the systems’ components and their regulation. Several studies recognize the value of discussing knowledge on systems’ functioning and component properties with farmers, in relation to technical change processes. This paper investigates some processes of coordination of fundamental and generic knowledge on biological processes, on the situated knowledge that farmers may use when introducing technical changes in their own cropping system, and on the integrated approach to agroecological processes. We perform an inductive inquiry, in the framework of an iterative and instrumental analysis of case studies. We chose five cases of different step-by-step cropping system re-design situations. Through our crosscutting analysis, we highlight the fundamental knowledge on biological objects that the farmers mobilized, and we describe some aspects of the processes involved in its contextualization. In particular, we describe four patterns of connection between fundamental knowledge and farmers’ actions, and distinguish three main reformulations of fundamental knowledge that participate in contextualizing it. These involve reinterpretation of individual experiences and identification of the effects of action on the situated biological processes. We conclude on research orientations for considering expert knowledge not as a specific content to integrate, but as a situated way of knowing that should be acknowledged in its processes.

Keywords : step by step re-design cropping system fundamental knowledge contextualization action

Author: Quentin Toffolini - Marie-Helene Jeuffroy - Pierre Mischler - Jérôme Pernel - Lorène Prost -



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