Strategic review of extension and adoption in the wine sector

Abstract

The optimal adoption of R&D outcomes by stakeholders (producers, intermediaries such as farm consultants and others) is critical to the success of every agricultural sector, because the benefits of that R&D do not accrue until it is used in practice. Furthermore, it is increasingly recognised that extension and other means to drive adoption are a critical part of the innovation cycle, because the application of new practices or technologies should inform the next wave of innovation.

For research & development corporations (RDCs), adoption is a continuous challenge. It is notable that several RDCs have recently developed new strategies for extension and adoption. The importance of adoption has recently been emphasised in the background paper to the Minister for Agriculture’s review of the RDC system.

This report presents the findings of a review of extension and adoption in the Australian grape and wine sector. It also looks at contemporary theories in extension, behaviour change and related disciplines, and examines how wine and other agriculture sectors in Australia and overseas are applying these. The findings from these analyses are applied to develop recommendations to Wine Australia to adjust its current approach, and a sector strategy for extension and adoption is proposed.

Summary

One of the recommendations of the 2019 independent performance review of Wine Australia was that the organisation ‘review the way it manages extension and adoption of R&D outcomes and to consider whether a more structured approach is required’.

This report presents the findings of this review. The review looked at contemporary theories in extension, behaviour change and related disciplines, and examined how wine and other agriculture sectors in Australia are applying these. An extensive review of relevant plans, reports and survey findings was undertaken as well as comprehensive industry consultation of both service providers and sector practitioners. The findings from these analyses are applied and recommendations provided to Wine Australia to adjust its current approach with a sector strategy for extension and adoption proposed.

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