Main Topics


Within our working group, research is divided into two main categories: knowledge systems & ‘traditional’ or ‘local’ knowledge and innovation processes of change. Specific topics within these categories are depending on current research projects and may change accordingly. We also consider non-certified organic agriculture (‘organic by default’) in addition to certified organic agriculture as part of our research. 

Knowledge systems within Organic Agriculture

Within this topic we conduct research on experiential knowledge  (local knowledge / traditional ecological knowledge), including knowledge transmission and transformation in relation to the following sub-topics:

 

  • Small-scale farming systems

    • Plant production and animal husbandry
    • Homegardens
    • Urban and peri-urban agri-/horticulture
    • Shifting agriculture & intercropping (i.e. milpa)
    • Agroforestry

  •  Agrobiodiversity

    • Traditional and heirloom varieties
    • The processing and use of crops and wild plants

  • Ecosystem processes

    • Soil & soil fertility
    • Weather conditions
    • Climate and climate change

Innovation and change processes

Within this topic we study innovation processes in organic farming, and the significance of these innovations for farmers and in regional development. These processes are included in the following research sub-topics:

 

  • Organic farmers’ experiments and innovations
  • Factors which promote or prevent innovation; for example:

    • Regional farmers’ networks (for marketing and knowledge transfer)
    • Rules and norms
    • Participatory Guarantee Systems
    • Internal control systems

  • Innovations that are already established in society; for example:

    • Fair Trade
    • Slow Food
    • Organic textiles and natural dyes
    • Organic aquaculture
    • Alternative and regional food networks
    • Food sovereignty

  • Change processes in land-use systems

    • Socio-ecological resilience
    • Adaptation processes, e.g. migration

Focus Cuba