24.08.2012

Locally based farmer-researcher associations should test and improve innovations based on biocontrol agents and adapted cultural practices. Farmer associations also have a history of work in pioneering and optimising the efficient rearing, delivery and release of beneficial organisms. Optimal value addition and minimisation of crop losses after harvest is a high priority to increase the food supply and enhance profitability of organic produce.

Marketing and policy research. Farmers need market information to take optimal decisions with regard to the crops to be grown, how, and for what market. A good understanding of consumer preferences and value chain and food web functioning is essential to help both farmers and other actors to optimise their collaboration to fulfil expectations, especially among quality-conscious consumers. Social science research has to go beyond market studies. Since consumers do not pay for all the environmental services and other benefits of organic agriculture, studies should also help to develop recommendations on how to best promote organic food for consumers and policy-makers to help farmers recover the full value of the different benefits organic farming creates.