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Research article2021Peer reviewedOpen access

Translating the multi-actor approach to research into practice using a workshop approach focusing on species mixtures

Hauggaard-Nielsen, Henrik; Lund, Soren; Aare, Ane K.; Watson, Christine A.; Bedoussac, Laurent; Aubertot, Jean-Noel; Chongtham, Iman R.; Bellostas, Natalia; Topp, Cairistiona F. E.; Hohmann, Pierre; Jensen, Erik S.; Stadel, Maureen; Pinel, Bertrand; Justes, Eric


The EIP-Agri multiactor approach was exemplified during a 3-day workshop with 63 project participants from the EU H2020 funded project "Redesigning European cropping systems based on species MIXtures". The objective was to share firsthand experience of participatory research among researchers who were mostly not familiar with this approach. Workshop participants were divided into smaller multidisciplinary groups and given the opportunity to interact with representatives from eight actor positions in the value chain of the agrifood cooperative Terrena located in Western France. The four stages of the workshop were: (1) key actor interviews, (2) sharing proposed solutions for overcoming barriers, and (3) developing possible interdisciplinary concepts. Expressions of frustration were recorded serving both as a motivation for group members to become more aware of the scientific concerns and practices of their colleagues, as well as a recognition that some researchers have better skills integrating qualitative approaches than others. Nevertheless, the workshop format was an effective way to gain a common understanding of the pertinent issues that need to be addressed to meet overall multiactor-approach objectives. Working with the actor networks was identified and emphasized as a means to overcome existing barriers between academia and practice in order to coproduce a shared vision of the benefits of species mixture benefits. (C) The Author(s) 2021. Published by Higher Education Press.


agroecology; codesign; intercropping; knowledge sharing; participatory methods

Published in

Frontiers of Agricultural Science and Engineering
2021, Volume: 8, number: 3, pages: 460-473