DOI: /10.5513/JCEA01/11.1.831

DO THE RIGHT THING”: INNOVATION DIFFUSION AND RISK DIMENSIONS IN THE PASSAGE FROM CONVENTIONAL TO ORGANIC AGRICULTURE

2010, 11 (1)   p. 113-129

Carmelo CANNARELLA, Valeria PICCIONI

Abstract

Risk is quintessential in agricultural activities and the introduction of innovation in a farm always implies additional risks difficult to quantify and identify in advance. Surely farm’s internal and external sources of risk or kind of activities determine a complex entrepreneurial scenario but also psychological attitudes, feelings and behaviours of the individuals involved, a co-shared mentality and contextual culture may play a critical role as well. The case of the passage from conventional to organic agriculture exemplifies how a better understanding of “risk” and the related facets, perspectives and questions may provide relevant contributions to overcome the commonly shared idea of innate conservatism/impulsiveness in certain firms, economic sectors or class of entrepreneurs, to explain many cases of irrational resistance to innovation and to fill that frequent gap between technologists and farmers in the evaluation of the possibilities to adopt and implement also those innovations and new technologies necessary to achieve a more sustainable agriculture.

Keywords

risk, innovation, organic agriculture, rural development

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