Integrating knowledge and information for a competitive and innovative organic horticulture in Flanders

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    Abstract

    Networks are considered having a lot of potential in innovation as their members learn with and from each other by sharing information and knowledge, acting as one negotiation unit, investing collectively and/or involving relevant partners. Based on a study of innovation characteristics by Kanter (1988) our research used a novel conceptual framework to understand how networks can
    maximally support the farmer’s innovation process. The framework comprised five components: (i) vision, (ii) knowledge capturing and exchange, (iii) communication, (iv) coalition formation and (v) institutional innovation. Conversion to organic horticulture needs a radical change in the production system. The complexity of the system, the importance of precaution more than using problem solving practices make that organic horticulture is knowledge intensive. This knowledge is not always found in existing conventional networks. This paper explores three recently established networks for creating and exchange of knowledge in organic horticulture in Flanders and evaluates
    how these networks can contribute to the innovation capacity of the organic horticultural community. The analysis of the networks shows that networks, separately and together, have a high potential in assisting its members, the organic farmer in Flanders and the organic agricultural sector as a whole, directly or indirectly, in its innovation process. As important as the goals and tasks of the network, the actors and management of the networks are crucial to create trust,
    ownership and the necessary institutional support.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - Jun-2015
    EventVIII International Symposium on Irrigation of Horticultural Crops - Avignon, France
    Duration: 8-Jun-201512-Jun-2015

    Conference

    ConferenceVIII International Symposium on Irrigation of Horticultural Crops
    CountryFrance
    CityAvignon
    Period8/06/1512/06/15

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