What is OFE?
How can we produce knowledge better in agriculture?
How can we make the most of the specific knowledge of farmers, scientists and other actors of food systems?
How can we ensure efforts are relevant locally, and progress positive change globally as well?
“Farmer-centric On-Farm Experimentation” or “OFE” is defined as an innovation process that brings agricultural stakeholders together around mutually beneficial experimentation to support farmers’ own management decisions.
OFE is a generic term encompassing the many approaches aiming at accelerating learning by braiding different types of knowledge, at the intersection of agricultural, social and digital sciences.
Typically, OFE is conducted at the scales that matter to farmers, in their own fields, under their own management, as part of a continuous process of improvement.
Experimentation has always being part of farmers’ practices as a means to adapt, and of agricultural sciences as a means to systematically investigate questions.
To build fit-for-purpose food systems, these different types of knowledge must build on each other to a much greater extent than is currently the case across the world.
Farmer-centric OFE thus continues a long history of participatory and collective action to progress food systems. As agricultural and scientific conditions continuously change and evolve, OFE re-emerges as a choice instrument to address challenges by connecting local and global knowledge.
This renewal include the recognition of 6 guiding principles: