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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Apr 26;113(17):4585-90. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0900555106. Epub 2009 Nov 5.

Knowledge and innovation relationships in the shrimp industry in Thailand and Mexico.

Author information

1
Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand; louis@sea-user.org.
2
Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand; Internews, Chiang Mai 50202, Thailand;
3
Google.Org, San Francisco, CA 94105;
4
Department of Geography, King's College, London WC2R2L2, United Kingdom;
5
Unit for Social and Environmental Research, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand; Department of Aquaculture, Hanoi University of Agriculture, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Abstract

Experts, government officials, and industry leaders concerned about the sustainability of shrimp aquaculture believe they know what farmers need to know and should be doing. They have framed sustainability as a technical problem that, at the farm level, is to be solved by better shrimp and management of ponds and businesses. Codes of conduct, standards, and regulations are expected to bring deviant practices into line. Shrimp farmers are often cornered in a challenging game of knowledge in which their livelihoods are at stake. In the commodity chain there are multiple relations with both suppliers and buyers, not all of which are trustworthy. The social networks shrimp farmers belong to are crucial for sifting out misinformation and multiplying insights from personal experience in learning by doing. Successful farmers become part of a learning culture through seminars, workshops, and clubs in which knowledge and practices are continually re-evaluated. The combination of vertical and horizontal relationships creates a set of alternative arenas that together are critical to bridging knowledge and action gaps for shrimp farmers. Government and industry initiatives for improving links between knowledge and practice for sustainability have largely succeeded when incentives are aligned: shrimp grow better in healthy environments, and using fewer resources means higher profits.

KEYWORDS:

knowledge system; learning; shrimp aquaculture; social networks; sustainability

PMID:
19892739
PMCID:
PMC4855552
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.0900555106
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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