Research topics

Within our working group, research is divided into two main areas:

  • Knowledge systems & ‘traditional’ or ‘local’ knowledge and
  • Innovation processes of change.

Specific research topics are depending on current research projects and may change accordingly. We also consider non-certified organic agriculture (‘organic by default’) in addition to certified organic agriculture as part of our research. 

Knowledge systems within Organic Agriculture

Within this area we conduct research on local and traditional (ecological) knowledge, including knowledge transmission and transformation in relation to the following topics

Small-scale farming systems

Plant production and animal husbandry
Urban and peri-urban agri-/horticulture
Shifting agriculture & intercropping (i.e. milpa)


Traditional and heirloom varieties
Processing and use of crops and wild plants

Ecosystem processes

Soil & soil fertility
Weather conditions
Climate and climate change

Innovation and change processes

Within this area we study innovation processes in organic farming, and the significance of these innovations for farmers and in regional development. These processes are included in the following research sub-topics:

Organic farmers’ experiments and innovations

Factors which promote or prevent innovation

Regional farmers’ networks (for marketing and knowledge transfer)
Rules and norms
Participatory Guarantee Systems
Internal control systems

Societal innovations

Fair Trade
Slow Food
Organic textiles and natural dyes
Organic aquaculture
Alternative and regional food networks
Food sovereignty

Change processes in land-use systems

Socio-ecological resilience
Adaptation processes, e.g. migration

Focus Cuba