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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 915: I International Conference on Organic Greenhouse Horticulture

NETWORK 'RESEARCH ON ORGANIC VEGETABLE PRODUCTION' IN GERMANY

Author:   B. Billmann
Keywords:   knowledge management, networking, organic horticulture, research coordination
Abstract:
From 2004 to 2009, in the frame of the Federal Program Organic Agriculture, the project ‘Network Research on Organic Vegetable Production’ was accomplished. The project was aimed at improving research methods and information flow between researchers, advisory services and growers. To achieve these objectives, several tools were developed in five sub-projects:
  • The main result of the sub-project ‘Guidelines’ was the manual ‘Planung, Anlage und Auswertung von Versuchen im ökologischen Gemüsebau’ (Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Trials in Organic Vegetable Growing), which is a basic guideline to standardize trial results.
  • In the sub-project ‘Trial Overview’ an extensive overview of the trials from 1994–2004 was compiled and is available at www.orgprints.org/7393.
  • In the sub-project ‘Networking’ the tool ‘Focus Groups’ was established. It supports a targeted and flexible co-operation among researchers, advisors and growers. In addition, an internet tool was developed offering researchers a communication platform comparable to an intranet.
  • In the sub-project ‘Workshops’ six meetings were completed to support networking and information exchange, partly including growers and advisors. In connection with the last workshop in October 2009, the ‘1st International Workshop Research on Organic Vegetable Production’ took place in Cologne.
  • In the sub-project ‘Information Flow’ all test results from 2005 to 2009 were entered into a data base for advisors. Now they are easily accessible and thematically arranged for growers and other interested people. Furthermore, the researchers have had the possibility to request expert support for compilation of research results for publication in growers' magazines.
After the five-year term, all instruments created during two project phases could be given back into the hands of the research and consultation stakeholders. The total coordination of the network was taken over by the chamber of agriculture North-Rhine/Westphalia.
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