Arbeidspakke 2

WP2: Farmers’ competence development

WP leader: Gunn-Turid Kvam, Centre for Rural Research

In this WP we will study in depth the nature of interactions between farmers, and between farmers and advisory services, what methods are applied, and the subsequent effects.

Tasks:  T2.1: In-depth studies of projects, situations and processes of knowledge transfer and communication between farmers, advisors and researchers, and between farmers.

T2.2: In-depth studies of competence development among farmers.

Key research questions: What are the critical factors for innovation and changing practice for the farmer? What operative models and methods can be identified and how do they work?

Method: We will use a qualitative case approach (Yin 1994) to enable identification of factors and explanations for the processes and results of the cases. We want to obtain increased understanding of development processes and learn from them. Our approach must therefore be open and exploratory. Through interaction analysis and analytical generalization we can achieve insight that may be relevant and valuable to other situations of competence development (Yin 1994). Criteria for selection of cases will include: production; individual vs groups of farmers; single advisors vs teams of advisors; method of funding of advice; operation over a period of time so lessons can be learned; and territorial enclave. Eight to nine cases will be carried out. Each case will be studied in depth based on analysis of interviews, documents, evaluations and observation if the case is still operative. Examples of cases are projects that are finished or still operative and run by one or several of the business partners (like Strategic farm advisory in TINE/Topp fóring (TINE) and Improved profit/Bedre bunnlinje (NLR)).