Research objectives and content
To evaluate the implications of the Cuban experience of large-scale conversion from industrialised to low-input agriculture for the European agricultural situation. Specifically: 1. To document the changeover from industrialised to low-external input agriculture in Cuba, focusing on a) changes in the farmer learning process to a more knowledge-intensive experience, its facilitation, the instutional support structures required, and conducive policy context; and b) changes in national food security and the national diet. 2. To discuss the implications of these changes for the future of European agriculture and food policies.
The project would involve characterisation of low-external input systems, review of national food security measures and changes in outputs relating to conversion to low-input systems, review of farmer knowledge processes and current LEI support structures, and evaluation of implications of wide-spread changeover. Approximately 1/4 of the time would be spent on field data collection in Cuba.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
Objective: To provide the researcher with new skills and knowledge on the changes in farmer learning and of institutional support structures within the UK and other EU countries for the widespread uptake of low-input farming practises. Also to promote further investigative research into effects of such change on food security planning.
Benefit and impact: To specifically improve linkages between agricultural information systems and ecological agriculture at the home institute of Wye College where at present the importance of knowledge systems and implications for dietary change are very much under-emphasised. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
This project would also provide the opportunity to gather data on the current state of the art of Cuban agro-industry.