The role of demonstration farms in agroecological transitions : nexus for scaling up and scaling out agroecology
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- Master’s theses (BioVit) 
Adoption of agroecological farming practices remains low, despite increasing evidence for their socioeconomic and ecological potential. This is regretful, especially in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) where there is a critical need for supporting farmers to become more resilient to the myriad challenges they face. However, while it is crucial that agricultural extension services support the scaling out of contextualised agroecological practices, it is also critical that agroecological principles are scaled up to create enabling market and policy contexts for food system transformation. Demonstration (demo) farms are increasingly being recognized as platforms for supporting the former process, yet this research asserts that these centres can also support agroecological transitions beyond the farm gate. This research therefore aims to explore the role of demo farms in agroecological transitions and further to highlight important design considerations that may enhance the abilities of these centres to support agroecology at field, farm, market and policy levels. A comparative case study analysis of six demo farms in Kenya was conducted using the Agroecology Criteria Tool to highlight how these centres are already supporting agroecological transitions. The results of these case studies are integrated with farmers’ perspectives gained during a participatory demo farm design workshop to further understand how centres might be (re)designed to better enable support for agroecological transitions. Consequently, this research presents important considerations for the (re)design of demo farms as nexus for scaling agroecology to support sustainable food system transformation in SSA and beyond.