Conversion of Knowledge in post-Soviet Agriculture: The Impact of Local Governance on the Knowledge Management of Agricultural Actors in Tajikistan


Knowledge, Local Governance, Agriculture, Innovation




The Republic of Tajikistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia that until 1991 belonged to the Soviet Union.  The livelihood of major parts of the population is closely linked to agriculture. Since national independency, the Tajik agricultural sector experiences fundamental changes during the privatisation of formerly collective enterprises, which are still underway. These economic and political processes are marked by contradictions and uncertainties. Individual action based on adequate knowledge is utterly important to ensure agricultural production. In this regard, local actors do not only strive for knowledge as a technical expertise (innovation), knowledge is equally necessary to manoeuvre the social-political environment of agriculture (local governance). The present research asks therefore for functional relations between local governance and the agricultural knowledge in place. Specifically we set out to understand, how local governance arrangements enable and constrain farmers’ agricultural expertise.
By taking the smallholder agriculture in the remote Zarafshan Valley as example, we are particularly looking at how the assumed governance-knowledge nexus influence farmer’s ability for innovation (e.g. production and commercialisation) and the distribution of natural resources.


Qualitative field research, Focus group discussions

Main Cooperation Partners

  • Academy of Science of the Republic of Tajikistan, Institute of Philosophical, Political and Legal Sciences, Department of Philosophy of Culture
  • Deutsche Welthungerhilfe, Tajikistan
Main Funding Partners

Volkswagen Fundation

Duration of the Project

09/2011 – 06/2015


Andreas Mandler

Dr. Andreas Mandler


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