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WP1: "Understand"

Analyze socio-technical lock-in in the dynamics of territories, and identify the room to manoeuvre to move towards pesticide-free territories

Organization diagram of WP1 three actions
Accompanying stakeholders to move towards pesticide-free territories requires a deep understanding of how they organize and manage agricultural production today, from the supply of inputs to the marketing of agricultural products, including farming, advisory services, etc. This is required to understand their capacities for change, in the short and medium term.

The scientific challenge of WP1 is to combine the theoretical frameworks of sociotechnical systems and multi-level transition theory (MLP) developed by evolutionary economics, social and management sciences, with those of agricultural sciences (system agronomy, landscape agronomy, livestock science), to propose a sociotechnical diagnosis approach of current lock-in and potential levers to unlock the systems and move towards pesticide- free territories.

To identify sociotechnical lock-in and potential levers to foster innovation dynamics and changes of agricultural practices in case-study territories (CSTs), the sociotechnical diagnosis will consist in: (i) identifying the current ways of managing farms and agricultural systems, the actors who directly or indirectly favor or hinder the development of alternatives to pesticide use in the territory, and their relationships; (ii) identifying the sources of self-reinforcing mechanisms that hinder the development of alternatives; and (iii) identifying relevant innovations, already developed in some CSTs (or close to them) which could contribute to unlocking and reducing pesticides.

WP1's ambition is to test the operationality and genericity of the suggested approach.  Operationality calls for providing the required key elements for designing innovations in the CSTs for WP2, and helping the project partners to change the governance to foster the transition towards pesticide free territories. Genericity requires to produce a methodological approach that can be mobilized beyond the project. We assume that the levers and modes of governance identified in the different CSTs will be at least partly different, and that together they will cover the majority of the levers usable to reach a huge pesticide reduction. Besides the sociotechnical diagnosis approach, several other methods will be used on some territories, in particular modelling and data base analysis, to describe the dynamics of farming practices and farm sustainability along years.

WP1 is organized into three actions that are strongly interrelated (figure). Action 1 is a theoretical and methodological step. Action 2 is the place to carry out the diagnosis on the CST. Action 3 monitors, throughout the six years of the project, the reconfigurations of each CST resulting from both the project activities and local dynamics.

WP Leaders: Mireille Navarrete (INRA Ecodéveloppement), Jean-Marc Meynard (INRA SADAPT), supported by Marion Casagrande (INRAE Ecodéveloppement), project officer, 2021-2023, for the methodological and organizational dimensions