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The research presented in this book highlights the opportunities that arise if agricultural research is grounded in the realities of small-scale farmers and takes their contextual knowledge and understanding as the departure point for innovation.
The main aim was to design, conduct and evaluate a collaborative learning process with smallholder dairy farmers to reduce milk losses and increase benefits. The author first develops a framework for understanding and conceptualizing collaborative learning processes that facilitate change and then empirically proves its feasibility and usefulness, taking her work with two small-scale dairy producer groups in Nakuru County, Kenya as examples.
The study shows how farmers’ knowledge underlying and guiding their activities can be successfully explicated and integrated, followed by a process to co-develop and test innovations for improving the management processes in the participating farms, thus increasing their ability to respond, adapt and intentionally transform their farming systems in relation to the livelihood problems they face.
Lastly, novel approaches based on farmers’ perspectives are presented to evaluate the collaborative learning process and ensure that the goals are reached; furthermore, factors that influence and maintain the enthusiasm of farmers and scientists in a collaborative learning process are identified and could guide future decisions on designing and implementing collaborative learning processes in the framework of transdisciplinary research.
Kommunikation und Beratung, Band 123
ISSN 0947-03522018; 160pp., paperback
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