THE ROLE OF SUPPORT ORGANISATIONS IN PROMOTING ORGANIC FARMING INNOVATIONS AND SUSTAINABILITY
Journal: Malaysian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture (MJSA)
Author: Ndlovu Wiseman, Sabine Moebs, Marizvikuru Mwale, Jethro Zuwarimwe
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Innovation is a product of collaborative effort and processes that make use of the expertise of and involves multiple stakeholders in its engineering. Most current studies focus on challenges, opportunities, and strategies for innovation. However, the role of support organisations and their specific innovative practices that foster sustainability in organic farming remain scantly researched and unknown. This study investigated innovative practices emanating from collaboration between support organisations/groups and farmers. Also, the question on how these practices influence the sustainability of organic farming was answered. A cross-sectional explorative research design was applied to collect data through semi-structured questions using interviews and focus groups in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg federal states, Germany. Innovative practices were performed at three key organisational levels namely; compliance with organic farming standards; production processes as well as marketing and consumer engagement. The findings revealed that collaborative innovative practices by support organisations/groups at the market and consumer engagement level was greater compared to other levels. The importance of innovative practices varied across the four dimensions (environmental, social, political, and economic) of organic farming sustainability. Organic farming innovations must be enhanced to improve the organic farming situation like improving area productivity, balancing for environmental friendly and safer agricultural practices as well as food security.