Information and knowledge diffusion within German organic farmers’ advisory networks

PhD Project

This doctoral research aims to ascertain how German organic farmers’ advisory networks affect the diffusion of information and knowledge, namely that of contemporary agricultural practices and technologies, what problems farmers face and how they can be supported to advance and strengthen the sector. As Germany possesses heterogeneous agricultural services that differ by federal state, the fieldwork will compare organic farmers’ advisory networks in Brandenburg, Lower Saxony and Bavaria.

The three research questions are:

  1. Who are the individuals and organizations in organic farmers’ advisory networks?
  2. Who do farmers trust? What role does trust play in farmers’ advisory networks?
  3. How does network size and diversity of actors correlate to the amount and quality of information and knowledge diffused?

To answer the three research questions, this research will utilize participant observation, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires, followed by comparison of the networks of each federal state. This research will be conducted under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Jonas Østergaard Nielsen in the Geography Department of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.