When researchers and farmers collaborate for science

Does research necessarily have to overcome the vagaries of the field to remain objective? According to many agricultural researchers around the world, including those from the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRAE), the answer is no. Scientists from eight countries, including France, shared and publicized this idea article in review nature foods Describes in detail the benefits of the new farm model or Experimentation on the farm (OFE). They found that this approach exists in different countries around the world and involves about 30,000 farms without it being present at all Formalization or institutionalization. They call it framing for Accelerate the creation of local and applied knowledge in service Agricultural, environmental and digital transformations.

Concretely, conducting research according to the OFE model consists of investigating specific questions for a particular agricultural process. Thus these questions are decided jointly by the farmer and the researcher. This is particularly the case with Dephy Farms, which brings together 3,000 farmers from all over France, where techniques to reduce pesticide use are being studied. On the other hand, the Farmers evaluate practices that are directly applicable to their farms, and on the other hand, scientists collect field data and informal knowledge that enriches their research and opens up new horizons, Taye Inrae in a press release. The OFE movement also relies on digital technologies, which Facilitate (but without condition) Collect data in the field but also produce it on a larger scale.

However, the OFE method raises questions in terms of researching the state of field data produced or even the hybridization of types of knowledge (sciences, agricultural or industrial practices, etc.). To answer it, the researchers in the study invite Strengthening the OFE . community, in particular by making OFE2021, the meeting held in October 2021 Montpellier, an annual meeting to discuss it.

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Article published on December 30, 2021

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