Improving pest-management decision-making and innovation adoption in olive groves and vineyards

A pre-survey conducted by NOVATERRA in France, Spain, Portugal and Greece, has highlighted key challenges and opportunities in the decision-making processes for pest management and innovation adoption within the olive grove and vineyard sectors. It was found that decision-making is heavily influenced by technical advisors, commercial agents, and cooperative organizations. Small farms often depend on potentially biased recommendations from sales agents, while larger farms benefit from structured guidance from cooperatives and agricultural institutions. Additionally, financial constraints and lack of exposure to new technologies were identified as significant barriers to the adoption of innovative practices, particularly for smaller farms.

Addressing the financial barriers to adopting innovative solutions is crucial. Developing robust financial support programs and incentives can mitigate initial costs, making advanced technologies more accessible to farmers. Cost-effective innovation trials can also play a pivotal role, allowing farmers to experiment with and evaluate new technologies without significant financial risk, thereby building confidence in these solutions.Ensuring access to unbiased expert advice is another critical step. Establishing clear guidelines and standards for technical advisors can help maintain the integrity of their recommendations. Providing resources for farmers to independently verify the advice they receive will also foster greater trust in the decision-making process. Moreover, fostering collaborative relationships between small and large farms can facilitate the exchange of knowledge and resources, enabling smaller operations to benefit from the expertise available to larger farms.
Finally, building trust between researchers, intermediaries, and farmers is essential. Developing accessible information channels and creating strong collaborative networks not only facilitates the adoption of innovative solutions but also promotes sustainable, efficient, and competitive practices within the olive grove and vineyard sectors.