PR - ENHANCING THE ROLE AND IMPACT OF FARMER BUSINESS NETWORKS/ADVISORY SERVICES ON NEW ZEALAND’S AGRICULTURAL KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION SYSTEM [AKIS] - THE FARMER PERSPECTIVE –
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 in terms of 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 via consultation with the farming community through a series of sector-specific focus groups and a subsequent questionnaire survey.
The study found that farmers make decisions on the basis of a continuum of awareness creation through careful consideration and onto adoption/implementation. The types of information that farmers are looking for relate to three areas: business, operational, and compliance. The best way to facilitate the flow of information is through a farmer’s professional and social networks.
Keywords: Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS), farmer focus group, farmer decision making, advisory services, adoption, innovation.