Alison Bailey1, Jacob Kambuta1, Eva Schröer-Merker2, Thomas Perrier1, Kevin Old1
The Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS) is a concept that describes the different organisations and individuals involved in the process of innovation adoption and their links. Organisations are seen as the traditional source of advice, and historically, this was led by government institutions. In developed economies, disengagement of government from information and advice provision has led to a rise in the privatisation of the service leading to a complex set of interrelationships.
The aim of this project was to provide recommendations for improving the performance and effectiveness of advisory services in strengthening the knowledge flows between science, in its widest context and practice, and the farming community, and with particular emphasis on the needs of the farmer.
This was achieved through a series of interviews with individuals involved in the provision of advice to the farming community based around findings from an initial discussion with cropping, dairy, and beef and sheep farmers.
The study found that in order to take the industry forward there needs to be a more cohesive extension programme involving rural professionals engaged in clearly defined roles to support farmers through their decision-making processes.
Dr Alison Bailey is currently Professor of Farm Management at Lincoln University, New Zealand. She studied at Aberystwyth University, Wales, and worked at SRUC in Edinburgh, Cranfield University and the University of Reading before moving to New Zealand. Her research focuses on the analysis of agricultural production systems encompassing: (i) the financial and economic analyses of the impact on farm productivity of alternative farming systems, technology adoption and agri-environment policy, and (ii) the investigation of farmer decision making processes and motivations particularly associated with different farming systems and agri-environment management.