ifoam'96 ifoam'96
Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
EcoWeb Denmark


Participatory Research of Organic Vegetable Farms. P1; 88

Seppänen, L.1&2 ; Fridefors, L.1&2 ; Granstedt, A.1 & Pehu, E.2

1Agricultural Research Centre / Research Station for Ecological Production, SF 51900 Juva; 2Department of Plant Production, 00014 University of Helsinki

The organic vegetables is the group of products where the difference between the supply and the demand is very big in Finland. There are possibilities to increase production, but the preconditions for production of organic vegetables on many levels are quite undeveloped. There comes the question: »What are the relevant and strategic issues for development?« and »How new knowledge and techniques can be achieved?« Because the techniques for organic production are mostly developed by farmers, the farmers are involved in the project. Also there is an interest to test the participatory research approach. The project is working on three levels. First one is the farm level. There are 15 organic vegetable farms in three regions involved in the project. Relevant development issues are collected and discussed in farm visits, regional meetings etc. The second level is the production of new knowledge or techniques with so called daughter projects, where many researchers and other experts are involved. The third level is to build a network of farmers, advisers and researchers, in order to support farm developmentand knowledge production. The process goes on through different stages: farm description, problem analysis, planning and implementing the daughter projects, application of knowledge and techniques on the farms involved, and evaluation. The dialogue between all the people involved is very essential.There is expected to be positive changes on the project farms, new relevant knowledge for organic vegetable production and a cooperation between farmers, advisers and researchers that is useful for all participants. The project is planned to last for the years 1995-1999.

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