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Sustainability 2019, 11(2), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11020331

Innovations in Sustainable Agriculture: Case Study of Lis Valley Irrigation District, Portugal

1
Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra, Escola Superior Agrária, 3045-601 Coimbra, Portugal
2
CERNAS—Research Centre for Natural Resources, Environment and Society, Escola Superior Agrária de Coimbra, Bencanta, 3045-601 Coimbra, Portugal
3
Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal
4
Direção Regional de Agricultura e Pescas do Centro, Rua D. José Alves Correia da Silva, 14-B, 2410-117 Leiria, Portugal
5
Associação de Regantes e Beneficiários do Vale do Lis, Quinta do Picoto, Souto da Carpalhosa, 2425-492 Leiria, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 November 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 10 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preserving Ecosystem Services via Sustainable Agro-Food Chains)
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Abstract

The innovation of agricultural systems management is a determinant factor that guarantees adaptation to a new paradigm of global economy, environmental protection, and social requirements. The conventional concepts of innovation, applicable to new products and processes, do not consider many characteristics of the agricultural sector, such as social innovation and innovation resulting from new or renewed processes. Nevertheless, the overall impact of innovation on yields, competitiveness, and value can be hampered by the limited understanding or misinterpretation of Agriculture Innovation paradigms. For instance, the Rural Development Program (RDP) applies a restrict concept of innovation, being unable to embrace the full range of activities intended to implement new practices within the framework of the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS). Stimulating innovation in agriculture demands a change in policy innovation of RDP in order to preserve natural resources and combine agricultural priorities and the rural environment with the concepts of innovation. This paper focuses on the different views of the concept of innovation within the Program of Operational Groups (OGs) of the European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI), analyzing the Portuguese case study of the Lis Valley Irrigation District whose main innovation objective was to achieve and implement new processes of water management aiming at the conservation of natural resources as well as sustainable social and economic agricultural development. The Portuguese experience highlights why the application of innovation in agriculture may not reach the desirable outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: innovation; operational groups; Vale do Lis; RDP; AKIS innovation; operational groups; Vale do Lis; RDP; AKIS
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Oliveira, M.F.; Gomes da Silva, F.; Ferreira, S.; Teixeira, M.; Damásio, H.; Dinis Ferreira, A.; Gonçalves, J.M. Innovations in Sustainable Agriculture: Case Study of Lis Valley Irrigation District, Portugal. Sustainability 2019, 11, 331.

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