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Action research methodology to reconcile product standardization and diversity of agricultural practices : A case of farmers' organizations in Costa Rica

Faure G., Hocdé H., Chia E.. 2011. Action Research, 9 (3) : p. 242-260.

To continue exporting in competitive markets small producers need to sell products which meet increasingly strict standards. However, the diversity of agricultural practices followed by small farmers raises issues regarding how farmers may coordinate to produce a product that meets clients' requirements. An action research methodology was designed in Costa Rica with two farmers' organizations, one exporting fresh pineapple and the other ornamental plants, to identify socio-technical and organizational innovations that could help their members meet the standards imposed on their respective products. The article analyses the methodology that was used to address this topic and the participation of the farmers and farmers' organizations in the whole research process in order to collectively obtain results in line with farmers' demands. The article concludes by emphasizing: i) the special role of the technical specifications in the innovation process; ii) the learning process within the action research stakeholders group; iii) the effect of a partnership dimension on action research. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : ananas comosus; plante ornementale; apprentissage; commercialisation; participation; association d'agriculteurs; exploitation agricole familiale; innovation; costa rica; recherche-action

Thématique : Economie et politique du développement; Méthodes de recherche; Commerce, commercialisation et distribution

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