Epistemic Cultures and Innovation Diffusion in Post-Soviet Southern Caucasus and Central Asia: Pilot Study: Agricultural Knowledge Systems in Georgia and Tajikistan


Agricultural Knowledge, Epistemic Cultures, Knowledge Systems, Knowledge & Innovation Diffusion, Southern Caucasus (Georgia), Central Asia (Tajikistan)


Tajikistan, Georgia


The here presented pilot project “Epistemic Cultures and Innovation Diffusion in Post-Soviet Southern Caucasus and Central Asia: Pilot Study: Agricultural Knowledge Systems in Georgia and Tajikistan” addresses the crucial role of knowledge and innovation development for socio-economic and political development and the adaptation to transformation processes. The newly formed states of Central Asia and Caucasus are undergoing these socio-economic processes of transformation and so far have not been able to fully reach their development objectives in the area of market liberalization, livelihood and energy security. Instead, and due to limited resources and wide-spread poverty, agriculture plays a central role in the systems of livelihood provision in all states of Central Asia and Caucasus. Here, knowledge generation and the development of locally adapted, agricultural innovations, which match the legal and financial ‚window of opportunity’ of local farmers to innovate is crucial. For guaranteeing local adaptability, these innovations have to be developed locally and through the incorporation of local expertise and tacit systems knowledge. Thus, innovations are embedded in local epistemic cultures and will be diffused through local networks and channels of knowledge flows. External and global knowledge can stimulate these processes positively and is of high significance for agriculture. It is therefore the aim of the here proposed pilot project to assess local epistemic cultures, actors and structures of agriculturally oriented knowledge and innovation development as well as the local channels of innovation diffusion. In doing so, we concentrate on Tajikistan, and here specifically on Pendžikent (Province Sogd) and Šachrtuz (Province Chatlon), as well as Georgia, here Gurjaani (Province Kakheti) and Gori (Province Shida Kartli) as empirical case studies. The project has been designed as a thematic research consortium of German, Tajik and Georgian researchers and the international partner CACAARI with the aim to carry applied agricultural research in the region forward. By identifying and assessing the local channels of knowledge development and diffusion, this pilot project aims to create the conceptual basis for (a) further development and diffusion of (external and local) agricultural innovations in cooperation with local farmers as well as adaptation to the local situation; and (b) their outscaling through local channels of innovation diffusion. The venture builds on existing research cooperation of German and Tajik research institutes and builds new partnerships with Georgia. By doing so an interdisciplinary approach (with transdisciplinary component) of social science and agricultural science research perspectives and methods is fostered. For the aimed at transfer of the produced research output to the practical development cooperation and local agriculture, the institutional partner CACAARI offers the required regional platform.


Largely qualitative ethnographic research methods: semi-structured interviews, participant observation, field diary, transect walks, Follow-the-Seed/ Follow-the-Innovation-Methodology, social network analysis, transdisciplinary workshops. These are further substantiated by a quantitative household survey.

Main Cooperation Partners

  • Academy of Sciences, Georgia
  • Academy of Sciences, Tajikistan
  • CACAARI, Tashkent
Main Funding Partners

Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), Germany

Further information

Pilot Study: Agricultural Knowledge Systems in Georgia and Tajikistan


Recently published conference report
on "‘Agricultural Knowledge and Knowledge Systems in Post-Soviet Societies" (September 12-13, 2013, ZEF)
<link http: www.zef.de fileadmin webfiles downloads projects agricultural_knowledge_conference_report_2013.pdf _blank>» Download

Forschung und Praxis in der Landwirtschaft verzahnen
Kooperation International "Erfolgsgeschichten" vom 15.01.13 (report about the project in german)
<link http: www.kooperation-international.de aktuelles erfolgsgeschichten forschung-und-praxis-in-der-landwirtschaft-verzahnen.html _blank>» more

Duration of the Project

11/2011 – 10/2013


Anastasiya Shtaltovna

Dr. Anastasiya Shtaltovna


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