The role of knowledge co-production in climate smart agriculture in Pakistan
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To address the challeges of climate change in Pakistan, new ways of practicing agriculture and mobilizing agricultural research are required. Climate smart agriculture (CSA) is one proposed solution with implications for food security and agricultural sustainability in the context of changing climate conditions. Climate smart agriculture is defined as any practice that sustainably increases agricultural productivity, fosters resilience while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and enhances achievement of national food security and development goals. In Pakistan, however, the emergence, application and appropriatness of CSA is largely unexamined, and particularly with reference to how agricultural communities, extension agencies and researchers may co-produce innovative agricultural solutions based on different understandings, perspectives and knowledge about agricultural and food systems. The purpose of this research is to critically assess the role of knowledge (e.g., scientific, local, policy) in the development of climate smart agricultural practices for conditions of water scarcity in the Sindh province of Pakistan. Three objectives guide my research: (1) to characterize the present-day knowledge system and the role of different stakeholders in the study regions as they relate to agriculture and water sector interactions and the development of climate-smart agriculture; (2) to identify key social, cultural, political and economic drivers (e.g., the 'landlord system or patron-client arrangements) that affect how different types and sources of knowledge influence the emergence and implementation of climate-smart agriculture; and (3) to assess if and how different actors and organizations in the water-agriculture sectors can engage in the collaborative production of knowledge to enhance the governance of climate smart agriculture. A qualitative and inductive case study of Sindh Province was used to assess these objectives, critically assess CSA, and to elicit the voices of those most affected and involved in CSA efforts. Data collection included i) semi structured interviews (n = 70, including 45 farmers and 25 other stakeholders i.e., government), ii) focus group discussions (n = 6, including two in each study district), and iii) a review of content of relevant documents and reports. Ideally, forms of knowledge co-prodcution for CSA in Pakistan will foster the gathering of relavent information from across disciplinary and epistemic communities, promote shared learning based on diverse experiences, and help to increase legitimacy and relavence of the knowledge generated by different stakeholders in the context of agricultural challenges. In this regard, three key findings emerge from this research. First, CSA is incomplete without the inclusion of both scientific and customary knowledge. Integrated policy support at national and provincial levels is necessary to ensure the occurance of this integration. Second, there are multiple drivers of change impacting the process of knowledge co-production for CSA in Sindh (i.e., natural disasters, socio-economic shifts, political/power dynamics, and water management drivers). These drivers both catalyze and undermine knowledge efforts in the context of CSA. Third, a well governed knowledge co-production process is needed to engage all stakeholders, including agriculture extension services in Sindh. Agriculture extension services serve a central knowledge transmission function and can promote practical know-how to climate-proof and encourage sustainable agriculture in Sindh. Overall, this thesis contributes to an emerging literature on knowledge co-produciton for CSA in Pakistan, highlights the need to consider the multiple drivers of change impacting CSA processes, and emphasizes knowledge co-production as an essential mechanism through which to link the relevant scientific as well as customary knowledge required for climate smart agriculture.
Cite this version of the work
Sajida Sultana (2019). The role of knowledge co-production in climate smart agriculture in Pakistan. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15321