AgriLink was funded from June 2017 – November 2021 by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.
The project aimed to stimulate the transition towards more sustainable agriculture by improving understanding of the roles played by agricultural advisors in farmer decision-making and the adoption of innovation on the wide variety of different farm types that exist in Europe.
AgriLink was implemented by a consortium of 16 partners from 13 countries. They worked in 26 focus regions, 9 specific areas of innovation and six ‘Living Laboratories’ (Living Labs) to identify and analyse the many different sources of advice used in farmer decision-making and how the performance of farm advisory systems can be improved to promote and support more sustainable agriculture.
This work was undertaken in the context of the so-called Agricultural and Knowledge Innovation Systems (AKISs) which exist at national / regional level in the EU Member States and other countries.
The specific objectives of the AgriLink project were to:
- Develop and test a theoretical framework for academics that integrates sociological and economic theories and can be used to assess how farm advisors influence the decisions made by farmers, especially their adoption of innovation
- Engage with as many different types of farmers and advisors as possible to identify and assess the great diversity of formal and informal sources of knowledge and services that farmers use to support the decisions they make about changes on their own farms
- Determine the ‘best fit’ that should exist between various types of farm advisory services and the practical, real-life advisory needs of farmers in different European contexts and areas of innovation
- Analyse how the various existing models of governance and funding of farm advice are functioning (or not) to support the information needs of farmers and the adoption of innovations for sustainable agriculture in various national and regional contexts
- Develop new methods for fruitful exchanges between farmers, researchers and advisors with a specific focus on testing how the ‘Living Laboratory’ (Living Lab) approach can be used to create innovative new farm advisory methods and tools in a variety of different contexts
- Actively contribute to the contemporary policy debate about the future of agricultural advice with recommendations for enhancing farm advisory systems that are developed from a research perspective
You can find our original project website here.