Learning and Adaptation in Food Systems: Insights from Four Case Studies in the Global South

Mukhovi, Stellah; Jacobi, Johanna; Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe; Rist, Stephan; Kiteme, Boniface (2020). Learning and Adaptation in Food Systems: Insights from Four Case Studies in the Global South. International journal on food system dynamics, 11(4), pp. 312-328. 10.18461/ijfsd.v11i4.57

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This article presents empirical results on learning and adaptation to risks among different groups of actors in food systems in two countries of the global south (Kenya and Bolivia).Using a resilience approach, the study sought to assess knowledge about risks perceived by actors, forms of learning that actors in food systems have access to and use, and how this knowledge and learning has contributed to adaptation and resilience building. Data were collected through questionnaires, interviews, farmer meetings, workshops, and participant observation. The target population was different groups of actors in agroindustrial food systems in both countries, a regional food system in Kenya andan agroecological food system in Bolivia. The results show that knowledge on threats came from the actors’ experience and interaction with external actors. The main risks identified in Kenya and Bolivia included climate change impacts –particularly extreme climatic events (floods and droughts) –, price fluctuation of food products, declining soil fertility, deforestation, and – in Kenya– human-wildlife conflicts, and conflicts between actors over resource use. The most important forms of learning were experiential learning through demonstration farms, social learning exemplified in group approaches, and learning at individual levels through information exchange between farmers and external actors such as extension personnel, research organisations and non-governmental organisations. There is potential to enhance adaptation strategies whose knowledge has been acquired over the years, to build resilient food systems necessary for dealing with current and future shocks and stress.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability > Unit Land Systems and Sustainable Land Management (LS-SLM)
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Geographies of Sustainability
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Jacobi, Johanna; Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe and Rist, Stephan

Subjects:

900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

1869-6945

Projects:

[805] Sustainability Governance
[437] Towards food sustainability Official URL

Language:

English

Submitter:

Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

10 Feb 2021 17:53

Last Modified:

14 Feb 2021 15:26

Publisher DOI:

10.18461/ijfsd.v11i4.57

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Food systems; Learning; Adaptation; Resilience; Global South

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.146454

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/146454

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