A good framework with clear (and innovative) concepts and methodologies is needed to make the whole project effective. The focus of DIVERSIFOOD is on diversification, which needs to be considered at three levels:
- breeding/genetic diversity in crops
- farming system
- food system
To be effective, a multi-actor approach will need to be tailor made for each crop given a specific context, which consists of crop traits, agro-ecological elements and socio-economic factors. In order to achieve this, an interdisciplinary methodological approach is needed in which biological and sociological research perspectives are integrated.
Barriers and bridges need to be understood, and key elements identified at various levels: crop (breeding system, plant architecture, etc), market, industry, policy, culture and ecology. Also practical advice will be used from the EIP-AGRI model.
The objectives are to:
- Compare various multi-actor approaches, participatory approaches and action research approaches and understand why which approaches are most suited to be connected with biological research methods used in on-farm research in DIVERSIFOOD, in coherence with general EU research policy which promotes the association of research and innovation.
- Define concepts and elaborate a common and agreed set of definitions and common hypotheses, in which biological, economic and sociological research perspectives are integrated, associated to diversity in agriculture, sustainability, quality and multi-actor organisation relevant to the work conducted in DIVERSIFOOD.
- Develop an overarching framework in which the specific concepts and methodologies are integrated in a holistic way, combining biological, economic and sociological research methods, and experimented within our consortium, and then to distil recommendations for using multi-actor approaches in future projects.