Working Title of Thesis:
: Investigating the Impact of Sectoral Heterogeneity on Management of Knowledge for sustainable agriculture practices: A case of the Agriculture sector in East Africa
Despite intervention efforts of governments, international development partners and researchers, achieving sustainable agriculture amidst a growing population and environmental challenges remains a major concern. The design and implementation of sustainable agriculture systems requires different types of knowledge (both formal and informal), and co-owned by the heterogeneous actors of the agriculture sector. A lot of agriculture knowledge has been and continues to be generated daily through research, policies, intervention projects, experiences, practices and new innovations among other channels. An integration of various forms of knowledge is therefore required to achieve more sustainable and resource-efficient practices than currently in place. There has been a lot of research dedicated to peer-to-peer knowledge and information sharing among farmers, which has been relevant and guided policy making and innovations in the sector, especially with regards to creating linkages and building synergies among farmers. However, sustainable agriculture development goes beyond just farmer groups and may be better served by a system that incorporates different knowledge perspectives of the heterogeneous actors of the agriculture sector. Because these sectoral actors often span organizational boundaries and have diverse backgrounds, goals, cultures and priorities, it is inevitable that their heterogeneity can affect the knowledge processes among these actors. My study capitalizes on the practice-based theoretical perspective and the social capital theory to investigate the possibility of addressing the combination of the different knowledge perspectives of the heterogeneous actors in the agriculture sector in East Africa, and how these perspectives can go through processes of knowledge validation to facilitate co-creation of new knowledge, particularly in the quest to enhance farmers’ adaptation of sustainable agriculture practices.