Agro-ecological Knowledge Hub

Social network analysis workshop in the German case study

A workshop was held yesterday with local actors at the Landwirtschaftskammer in Nienburg / Weser to identify and discuss governance networks and processes that do (or could) influence agro-ecological transitions of arable farming systems.

The workshop brought together local actors representing farmers, advisory services and capacity building, autorities and administrations, NGOs and local associations, and science. Participatory actor mapping and consensus network building was done based on the flows of knowledge and tangible goods identified by the participants. Most influential actors and missing actors were identified that can improve governance structures to better address the key dilemma (of improving biodiversity and water quality without generating significant negative impacts on the economic viability of farms) and favouring the transition towards agroecology. 

Farmers’ decision-making on adopting agro-ecological practices is influenced by the information flow and contractual arrangements with, and rules provided by, five types of other actors. These include value chain actors from land owners and plant breeders to retailers and consumers, actors providing advice and promoting capacity building, NGOs and local community associations representing environmental concerns and interests of specific groups, and local and regional administration and authorities responsible for the policy implementation and monitoring of policy measures and the legal framework of agricultural land management. In addition, regional media, such as radio stations and local and regional press, have been identified, although with limited influence. The results of the Social Network analysis are reported in Deliverable D5.2 and its Annex on the case studies which will inform further MAP discussions and serve as a basis for the co-creation of innovative mangement strategies and policy recommendations.

Text/photos: Thüenen Institute