Advisory Services – The Role of Co-operatives

Below is an extract of the Executive Summary on the report.

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Executive Summary

Agri-advice has always been central to agricultural development and innovation. As agriculture is now facing an increasingly challenging and transitionary period, there is a renewed focus on the role and nature of agri-advice and AKIS (Agricultural Knowledge Innovation Systems). A transition to sustainable agriculture requires an agri-advisory response which draws on the agency and knowledge of the farmer(s), is more tailored to a particular local context and encourages the sharing of knowledge and experimentation across farms in a landscape1. This farmer-centric co-operative and landscape-based approach requires existing institutions within that landscape to facilitate and enable such knowledge brokerage. Co-operatives, with their proximity to the farmer and local embeddedness, would seem to be well placed to be key players in this future agri-advice domain.

The purpose of this study was to explore the extent, nature, delivery and potential future development of agri-advisory services in agriculture co-operatives (dairy and livestock). The study was completed by the Centre for Co-operative Studies, UCC and was funded by the Golden Jubilee Trust.

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