Center researchers collaborated with colleagues on a new paper that points to the importance of engaging directly with existing knowledge when attempting to bring new knowledge and practices into farming communities. Working in Uganda, the researchers examined similarities and differences between smallholder farmers’ knowledge about soil health and scientific concepts. In cases of dissimilarity, they find that new concepts are unlikely to be assimilated without concerted effort and they recommend hands-on experimentation with novel practices as a means of building confidence with improved soil management practices. Our Faculty Director, Heidi Ballard, and former student researcher, Emily Harris, collaborated with UC Davis colleagues Lauren Pincus (Plant Sciences), and Kate Scow (Land, Air and Water Resources) on this research.
Pincus, Lauren, Heidi Ballard, Emily Harris, and Kate Scow. 2017. “Seeing below the Surface: Making Soil Processes Visible to Ugandan Smallholder Farmers through a Constructivist and Experiential Extension Approach.” Agriculture and Human Values, October. Springer Netherlands, 1–16.