About

Research Collaboration on Farmer Decision-Making

We are a multidisciplinary team of social and agricultural scientists and development practitioners based in Cambodia and Australia. Our research on farmer decision-making considers the socio-political factors that enable or constrain the ability of smallholder farmers to take up new ideas and technologies in the pursuit of a good life.

We seek to re-imagine the way that farmers are supported through the practice of agricultural extension by taking a ‘relational’ approach. Such an approach starts with recognising the networks of relations between people and things that span across space and time and within which farmers are embedded. Relationships of debt, of trust, of fear. Relationships related to a person’s position within a household or a community. Relationships with land and the environment.

Can a new model of agricultural extension that starts with an understanding of social relations support the uptake of sustainable agricultural practices and help farmers adapt and respond to change? This is what we hope to find out.

Research Projects

Our research currently includes two projects funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR):

Location

Our current research is located in Battambang and Pailin Provinces in northwest Cambodia.

Ways of Working

Our research collaboration brings together people with diverse experience and expertise to understand how to support farmers’ lives and livelihoods. We collaborate with others while acknowledging that individuals and organisations will have different interests, worldviews and resources. We see this as both a strength and a challenge and have developed a set of principles around how we work together and with others, based on:

  • research ethics and integrity
  • conducting fair and beneficial research
  • investing in respectful relationships
  • developing genuine partnerships
  • acknowledging power relationships
  • being innovative

Communicating our Research

We believe that the findings from publicly funded research should be shared in a timely and accessible manner to foster social, economic, cultural and environmental benefits. Our publications strategy provides a guide to disseminating research findings in ways that are accessible to those who can benefit from the research, including via our Publications and Reports page

 

Contact us

For more information, please contact Project Lead, Dr Brian Cook at brian.cook@unimelb.edu.au