THE AGRICULTURAL KNOWLEDGE AND INNOVATION SYSTEM
The German agricultural knowledge and innovation system is composed of a large variety
of organisations and differs considerably between regions and sub-sectors.
This is a consequence of different political history in Eastern and Western Germany, different
farming structures and the federal governance system shaping institutions and
administrative procedures. In the Federal Republic, the Federal Ministry of Food and
Agriculture (BMEL) is responsible for all superior matters in the agricultural sector. In
particular it is in charge of policies such as the Pillar 1 of European Common Agricultural
Policy (CAP) and the Joint Task on Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection (GAK).
The 16 states (Länder) on the other hand are in charge of implementation of Pillar 2 of the
CAP, of agricultural education and professional training, of extension and advisory services,
as well as of state level departmental research. In particular, the advisory services are
institutionally very different and multiple structures prevail even within one state (Paul et