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Agricultural Knowledge and Knowledge Systems in Post-Soviet Societies


Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Anastasiya Shtaltovna and Conrad Schetter

This volume addresses the crucial role of knowledge and innovation in coping with and adapting to socio-economic and political transformation processes in post-Soviet societies. Unique are the bottom up or micro-sociological and ethnographic perspectives offered by the book on the processes of post-Soviet transformations in Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus. Three thematic fields form the structuring frame: cultures of knowledge production and sharing in agriculture; local governance arrangements and knowledge production; and finally, the present situation of agricultural advisory services development.
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Agricultural Organization and the Role of Contractual Structures in Knowledge Flows in Post-Soviet Uzbekistan



This chapter will draw on the argument that “history matters” as suggested by Van Assche et al. (2013) and Van Assche et al. (Chapter 2 in this book). It will develop a concept of knowledge flow in agriculture using an evolution conceptual toolkit (cf. Wilson and Gowdy, 2013) to study what function an inherited feature or characteristic of an individual or organization plays. Here it refers to a farm’s capacity to absorb, store, develop, utilize and share knowledge. For this I took the evolutionary history perspective of an Uzbek farm organization to understand how the farm organizational characteristics shape the knowledge flow. To do this, I present the role that the interdependency between commercial farms and rural households plays in the organization of agricultural production. More specifically, I look at its functions in the knowledge flow in commercial farms, rural households (semi-subsistence smallholders) and the state. One can consider a farm as an adaptive self-organization where its parts such, as individuals – a farm director and subordinate workers – interact to enable the farm to function as a collective production unit. Each individual, as a member of the farm, can pursue his own interests leading to unintended outcomes for the farm such as degradation of land quality, failure to manage production targets, breaking of machinery, and economic losses.

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