Abstract: There is increasing recognition that the Australian rural sector needs to develop and implement sustainable agricultural practices. However, there are debates over what these practices might be, and how best to develop them and maximise their adoption. These research, development and extension/commercialisation (R,D&E) issues are not new. Over one hundred years ago it was recognised that farmers continued to be engaged in practices which were inconsistent with the scientific facts. At the same time, researchers often failed to recognise that the practices that farmers did use were appropriate, albeit for reasons that were not well understood at the time. Over the past two decades, a progression of models of research and development and extension has been advanced to guide researchers in R,D&E, yet the concerns continued to be voiced that agricultural R,D&E does not properly serve its constituency (Jiggins 1993; Scones and Thompson 1994; Vanclay and Lawrence 1995). We believe that past attempts to improve technology transfer have been at least partially successful, that is, within the societal and knowledge context that they were being developed and implemented. However, the knowledge base and societal expectations have changed, leading to demands for higher levels of performance by agricultural R&D scientists to develop sustainable farming practices that are adopted.
Notes: produced by: Land & Water Resources Research & Development Corporation (Australia) Grains Research & Development Corporation (Australia) Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (Australia)