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Evidence for farmers' active involvement in co-designing citrus cropping systems using an improved participatory method

Agricultural policymakers are addressing the sustainable development issue by designing new agricultural systems. Farmers are ultimately asked to make deep changes at field scale. Designing cropping systems has previously been done using prototyping methodologies. Prototyping methodologies use a five-step designing process at field scale and request multicriteria analysis of the resulting prototypes. However, sustainable dynamics implies considering changes at larger scales, farm and region, as well as creating feedback and facilitating participation of all the stakeholders involved in the process. Here we studied citrus production in Guadeloupe, French West Indies, where farmers must reduce pesticide loads despite unresolved weed control issues. The DISCS method was applied to develop low-pesticide citrus cropping systems. Five weed control prototypes were jointly designed by citrus farmers and researchers, and two multicriteria assessment tools were built for use at the experimental station and on the farms. Results show that involved farmers transferred the new techniques to their own farms on their own initiative, thus spontaneously becoming pilot farmers. The DISCS method is therefore the result of a co-design process between farmers and researchers. The DISCS method creates an ongoing dynamic relationship between agricultural and public stakeholders to build a solution that can continuously be adjusted to stakeholders’ expectations.

Title of publication: Agronomy for Sustainable Development
卷号: 32
期号: 3
国际标准刊号: 1773-0155
页数: 703-714
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年份: 2012
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国家: Guadeloupe
地理范围: 拉丁美洲及加勒比
内容语言: English
Author: Fabrice le Bellec , Amélie Rajaud, Harry Ozier-Lafontaine, Christian Bockstaller, Eric Malezieux
类别: 杂志文章
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