Taking a new look at the process of translating science into practice in agriculture

One of the case studies featured in the paper is a bread wheat supply chain in Italy

Although we know that innovation involves much more than research, scientific outputs continue to play an important role in agricultural innovation. However, effective outreach and translation of research is not always achieved. Simply put, translation is about making scientific knowledge useful, but how to do this effectively is still not fully understood. The VALERIE project, which explores how to facilitate the uptake of scientific knowledge and its integration into farming and forestry practices, has provided us with a good opportunity to further this understanding.

A paper, co-written by Julie Ingram, Janet Dwyer, Peter Gaskell, Jane Mills and Pieter de Wolf (University of Wageningen), has just been published in Land Use Policy. It describes how the VALERIE team has worked with stakeholder communities (farmers, advisers, supply chain actors, researchers) in ten farming and forestry case studies across Europe to collaboratively translate scientific outputs. This process is described in detail in the paper for three case studies: a sustainable potato supply chain in Poland; a group of arable farmers in interested in innovative arable cropping practices in France, and a bread wheat supply chain in Italy. Based on these experiences, and drawing on evolving theoretical ideas about translation, we explain how we came to understand this collaborative translation process as co-translation.

Details of the paper are as follows:

Ingram, J., Dwyer, J., Gaskell, P., Mills, J. and de Wolf, P.  (2018). Reconceptualising translation in agricultural innovation: A co-translation approach to bring research knowledge and practice closer together. Land Use Policy, 70, pp.38-51.