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Agricultural extension services and rural innovation in inner Scandinavia

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Abstract:

The article investigates how agricultural extension services respond to demands for new knowledge support within agriculture. The author asks whether they provide for the knowledge needs of agriculture as per a conventional agro-industrial model, or act as catalysts for restructuring processes. The extension services are analysed as part of regional innovation systems. The article investigates extension services in one Norwegian county, Hedmark, and one Swedish county, Varmland. In Varmland changes are aimed towards a regionally networked system supporting entrepreneurship and rural development. In Hedmark the extension services remain integrated in a regionalized national innovation system promoting a conventional agro-industrial model, although signs of support of an extended knowledge base are identified.
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