Introduction: Day 1 in India
Today Naomi and I had the opportunity to visit the MS Swaminathan Foundation headquarters here in Chennai. We met with most of the members on the team working on the "Alleviating Poverty and Malnutrition in Agrobiodiversity Hotspots" IDRC supported project, which is partnered with the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta. Our time today was mostly spent with me presenting my proposed research (with Naomi's help, of course). The following is a brief overview of my proposed project.
The project is titled: Understanding Social Practices of Knowledge Mobilization for Sustainable Food Production and Provisioning among Small-Scale Farmers and Landless in Kolli Hills, India. We are interested in looking at how knowledge about certain sustainable food production practices is mobilized This will include understanding how farmers gain access to information, how communities are formed around specific agricultural practices, what the role of gender is in this context, and the potential for the use of information and communication technologies.
I hope that my research in India will be able to inform the "Partnership development to explore innovative uses of low cost communication technology for knowledge mobilization in agricultural communities of practice” project, by developing a methodology for understanding how people network and exchange knowledge, that will allow the team to carry out an in-depth, rich description of knowledge mobilization practice. This then, can translate into the potential for the adoption and use of low-cost ICTs.
I hope that this first week will help us to get an overall picture of what kinds of avenues are available for farmers to gain information. More soon!