Institutional continuity and hidden changes in farm advisory services provision: evidence from farmers' microAKIS observations in France
To cite this article: Catherine Laurent, Geneviève Nguyen, Pierre Triboulet, Matthieu Ansaloni,
Noemie Bechtet & Pierre Labarthe (2021): Institutional continuity and hidden changes in farm
advisory services provision: evidence from farmers’ microAKIS observations in France, The Journal
of Agricultural Education and Extension, DOI: 10.1080/1389224X.2021.2008996
Purpose: The paper aims at better understanding the microfoundations
of current institutional changes in agricultural
knowledge and innovation systems (AKIS).
Design: A survey of 98 farmers and interviews with 37 advice
providers in south-western France were conducted to analyse the
ways in which farmers combine different sources of advice
(microAKIS). The farmers’ practices were observed for general
farm management and for 3 types of innovation (new crop
diversification, digital decision support tools, and labour
Findings: The results highlight poorly-known characteristics of
microAKIS regarding the variety of sources of advice used by
farmers, and the limited number of reliable resources on which
farmers can draw at key stages of the innovation process. They
provide evidence of bottom-up mechanisms of institutional
changes such as the routinization of the use of certain service
providers that are often overlooked in AKIS analyses (e.g.
Practical implications: These results can contribute to reducing
the misalignments of stakeholders’ representations of AKIS and
microAKIS, and therefore facilitate public debates and improve
the efficiency of interventions in this area.
Theoretical implications: Studies of institutional changes resulting
from the evolution of microAKIS are expected to complement
analyses of increased pluralism of advice providers.
Originality: Linking the observation of microAKIS and the analysis
of incremental institutional changes in AKIS allows the
identification of transformations of the AKIS rationale that would
otherwise remain partially invisible.